Community Futures Meridian

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Coach’s Corner – Focusing on the Important

  • April 4, 2017
  • Written by Meridian Admin

Too often we get sidetracked from important tasks or things we need to be doing. We lose our focus as we say yes to those requests that will only take a few minutes yet consume an hour or more, or we are distracted by an email that comes in, or text messages, or telephone calls, or surfing social media. It is so easy to veer off the path to handle something that is easy or seemingly less time consuming.

The chart below might help you analyze where best to focus your time.

IMPORTANT First Second

Being mindful of the Urgent/Important quadrant may be helpful in focusing our time and efforts on those things that need our attention, or that of others in our businesses. When we are confronted with a task or activity, try to see into which quadrant it best fits.

Determining where a task fits in the Important and Urgent grid, requires asking questions that help us focus our efforts as we go about our day, whether at work or at home.

How important is this to accomplishing my/our goals? If it is important we then need to determine if it is Urgent or Not Urgent? If it is Urgent it will require immediate attention as it lies in the first quadrant.

When it is Not Urgent, we need to keep it in mind with some time frame attached so it doesn’t get lost. In either case, it is necessary to determine whose responsibility it is. When it is not necessarily your responsibility, but that of a subordinate or colleague, we need to delegate the task giving clear instructions as to when it needs to be completed.

The third and fourth quadrants indicate where we get sidetracked in our work environment. That is why it is key to make a determination of the urgency and importance of tasks or activities. This is especially the case when there is a request for immediate action and we get caught up in the sense of urgency while forgetting that it’s really not important. These are the times when delegation is necessary, or we simply respond stating this will get attended to at some point later.

However, there are times we need to attend to less important yet necessary activities. At these times, we need to be mindful about the amount of time required and when exactly the task needs undertaking.

A good time to attend to some of those less important activities is when we need a break or a change of pace. It’s all about focusing on what is important. How do you get into the habit of not being distracted and ensuring what needs to be done gets done?

Paul Abra

Certified Executive Coach, Motivated Coaching