The long Easter break last weekend was the perfect reason to kick back, enjoy the warm spell and take a break from the never ending list of things to do. There is a promise of lots more lovely fine weather which is such a temptation to hang out the hammock again and just be. It won’t of course get the seedlings planted, the chutneys made, the arbour painted nor the compost sifted. But such is life. There are times for grafting and times for just drifting. Try and mix the two and it’s a recipe for frustration, guilt and personal loathing.
Being focused is something I’ve been doing a lot of reading and talking to people about. When I am coaching people it usually presents itself as a “time management issue or work-life balance” but usually when it comes down to it the real dilemma is how to overcome a consistent failure to focus and choose priorities. All the checklists in the world don’t address this problem although they can be a creative distraction and a good way of clearing the mind. Although productivity gurus will tell you to schedule all those important things you need to do what it doesn’t help people do is make decisions about what and when nor how to deal with things when your new system of productivity fails (usually after a few days).
Rest assured when I’ve cracked this whole conundrum I’ll be writing a book and becoming a superstar consultant. In the meantime, I shall rely on my chalkboard, my white board on the fridge, diary, iPhone app and a notebook to keep me on the straight and narrow. And when it all goes wrong I just live with the regular frustration of forgetting things, not quite getting everything done and not being the multi-tasking supremo my alter ego thinks she is. For all my results focus I’m at heart a drifter content until things become so important and urgent that I can kick into action and dig out my best.
Work-wise I’ve entered into a 30 day challenge with a client of mine at their request so I’m under pressure to change my ways. It’s only been few days and since the challenge is ring fenced to my executive duties it’s been quite easy to maintain focus and priorities although I’ve come to realise that I probably need to be applying the approach to all my domestic executive ways that really would be a challenge and my spoiling my drifter ways.
Now where’s the fun in that?