Focus!

I mentioned yesterday that I thought my word for this year was FOCUS! (I didn’t want to yell it in the title because I’ve already gone off at length once today, and didn’t want you to think I was doing it again.) But I also mentioned that I’m working on my goals in 20-minute chunks.

I’ve heard some stats about people who try to move too many things forward at a time. They are manifestly less successful than people who give a substantial chunk of energy to one thing.

So I wanted to talk some about why I thought I could justify claiming focus when I have 10 major active goals for the year.

  • I have two or three business goals. They’re staggered to match deadlines for projects I’m working on for the year, so I’m not simultaneously advancing all of them— I’m focusing on one at a time, but with awareness of the others.
  • I have three or four avocational goals. Book writing, guitar playing, traveling— these are ways I balance out the intensity with which I pursue my work. If I don’t make them serious and tangible and keep measuring my progress on them, they buckle under the weight of my work goals.
  • The rest are personal goals. I want to resume dating (kind of waiting until the dog’s follow-up appointment, because I stick closer to home when he’s laid up, but that might not be a strong strategy, given that I’m postponing his surgery and it’s likely to be midyear before he’s 100 percent recovered.) For my own health and wellness, I need to pursue the weight-loss goals. I’m getting to a stage where my heredity lines me up for high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. If I can manage my lifestyle better, I can avoid or delay entering a high risk population and having to spend more time, money, and energy monitoring chronic health conditions. It’s not really something I should put off while I try my hand at writing a book. It’s something I need to get under control despite stress and pressure.

Will all of them make slower progress, because I’m working on so many at once? Almost certainly. When I can devote all my energy to weight loss, I make much faster progress. When I can throw myself into online dating, I’m a dating machine. But I’m not sure that fast progress is what I’m after, at this point. I think I’m looking for lasting progress. The kind that compounds because you do it every, every day.

Hopefully, it won’t always be as hard as it is from here. But I’m in it for the long haul, either way.

 

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