Have you noticed the ability to FOCUS is second nature to some? For others focus seems impossible to achieve. There are times those who are usually highly focused temporarily lose that ability.
An article in the WSJ quoted the late Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard. He said “It’s amazing how easy life becomes when you realize your job is not to deal with what might have been – but what IS.”
Mr. Bogle wasn’t suggesting we forget the past, wipe out bad memories and mistakes. He’s saying we cannot undo what has happened. Right now is our priority. Think about it. We are erratically juggling five things. There’s an emergency, our child gets hurt – immediately we are laser focused on the emergency. We are in the ‘what is’ zone. The other five things drop from our radar.
Why does it take an emergency for most of us to focus? One of my favorite authors, Adam Grant, says it’s because we have been trained to focus on time management – getting the most done in the least amount of time. He says a better option is attention management: Prioritize the people and projects that matter. Attention management, he adds, is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments.
Consider Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. His mind and days were filled with handshakes, meetings, and policies. Then a critical emergency. His mind is now focused on one thing - his country. In his words: We know what we are protecting: the country, the land, the future of our children. What is.
Yes, you say – but we still need to get things done in a timely fashion. Interesting news: Recent studies, according to Adam Grant, show attention management works. When we are doing something for the right reason, at the right time, in the right place – we tend to work more efficiently and enthusiastically.
Makes sense to me.
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