Keeping Yourself Focused and On Target

After months of being furloughed, laid off or working part-time, it can be hard to stay focused on your long-term career and personal goals.

In order to stay top of mind in the job pool or successfully land the raise you have been waiting all year for, staying focused and on target with the goals and aspirations you had before COVID-19 disrupted our lives, is extremely important.

There are two questions that you can ask on a regular basis to keep yourself focused

The first question is “What are my highest value activities?” Put another way, what are the most important tasks you have to complete to make the greatest contribution to your organization? To your family? To your life in general? Think it through carefully!  This is one of the most important questions you can ask and answer. What are your highest value activities? First, think this through for yourself. Then, ask your boss. Ask your coworkers and subordinates. Ask your friends and family. Like focusing the lens of a camera, you must be crystal clear about your highest value activities before you begin work.

The second question you can ask continually is, “What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?”

This question comes from Peter Drucker, the management guru. It is one of the best of all questions for achieving personal effectiveness. What can you, and only you do, that if done well, can make a real difference?

This is something that only you can do. If you don’t do it, it won’t be done by someone else. But if you do it, and you do it well, it can really make a difference to your life and your career. What is your answer to this question?

Every hour of every day, you can ask yourself this question and there will be a specific answer. Your job is to be clear about the answer and then to start and work on this task before anything else.

Action Exercises

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, make a list of everything you do at work and then select your most valuable tasks from that list. This will also help you realize your personal growth within your career and help you decide your future goals.

Second, resolve to start in on your highest value task and stay at it until it is 100% complete.

By doing these simple tasks, you are more likely to stay focused and on target in your career.