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The Economics of Focus

It had been two years since I went golfing. This is strange for me as it used to act like couples’ therapy for my marriage. Shanna and I would walk, talk and laugh for hours. Even a bad round of golf was great in that context.

However, it seems like between raising young adults, work and other priorities there is little time for fun and games. In that, there are times of intense pressure where I find myself in need of a moment of silence, calm and peace. It’s when I realize that to perform my best at work, I need to maintain the economics of my focus. Among other priorities, I need to make space for silence. (Not to mention a good walk, talk, and chuckle with my wife.)

In life, I seem to be pulled in countless directions by competing priorities and habits.

Can you relate?

These competing directions seem to be activated by all I long to accomplish. I think Martin Luther King Jr. was correct when he observed that there is a violent civil war raging within each and every person between our good and bad impulses, between our ambitions and our principles, between what we can be and how hard it is to get there.

Here is what I know to be true If I am going to be able to rock my work so that I can love my life I need to be more intentional about how I focus. As I was thinking about this, I thought of a couple of habits that might be able to help us all better manage the economies of our focus.

  1. Limit inputs. To be best equipped we need to be able to dive deep and think fully through subjects. This is why I believe I must do less better. Limiting our inputs seems easy but we must also be very disciplined in what you limit. Asking yourself why is this important or not is critical. For example, it’s a bad idea to limit breathing…get my point?

  2. Practice moments of silence. If we are going to know what we need it takes listening. For this reason, I’m a big fan of prayer and mindfulness. Silent meditation helps a person connect with what’s going on inside. It prompts the still small voice to speak and gives mental space to listen. Often times the answer to the question you are seeking lies within.

  3. Write it down. As I’ve matured in life there are a few things that are for certain. The first is that if I don’t write things down, I’ll forget. This is why it’s necessary for me and I would encourage everyone to consider a habit of journaling. We can slow down to think and then capture those thoughts for use at the appropriate times.

Now I don’t do all this mind-stuff for not. I do it so that it sets me up to be all in at work. When I manage the economics of my focus, I’m free to work really hard. This is when I can excel the most at work and start to really rock it. It’s no accident, it’s only through proper care and feeding of my body, mind, and spirit that I can lay claim to long-term business momentum. Every one of us has to work. We might as well rock it! By knowing how to best manage your personal economics of focus, you can become the best version of yourself at work and in life.

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