Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Being busy vs. being focused

We're all busy. But that's not the issue.

The issue is whether or not you can comfortably accommodate new work without getting frustrated, flustered or immobilized. That's the test.

If you feel completely overwhelmed by something new on your plate, frustrated when your boss asks for something new, or flustered when the list of projects in your lap continues to grow, you're clearly not alone. That happens to all of us. But if you don't have an effective system (no matter how simple or complex) to rationalize those new ideas against what's currently on your plate, then you might just be unfocused.

If you don't know how to evaluate new ideas against those you're already focused on, work with your manager (or have a quick meeting-of-one) to make sure you both agree on what's most important in your role, your department and your company. Clarity over underlying values and objectives will be your compass by which to evaluate and triage every new idea.

Your plate's only so big, and your time is incredibly valuable. You owe it to yourself to work only on the things that are going to deliver the most value to your organization, and the most satisfaction and productivity for yourself.

Busy is good. Too busy is bad. And I guarantee that something on your plate, right now, shouldn't be there.

Can you find it?

All of it?


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