It seems like people everywhere are experiencing an epidemic of being overwhelmed at work. It really is a function of a couple of things. First, the volume of information we now process is greater than ever before. I heard a great quote by David Rock, he stated, “I read somewhere that The Sunday New York Times contains more information than the average 18th century French Nobleman learned in his lifetime now, if only I could remember where I read that…” I think this sums it up pretty nicely; our mind can only take so much.
Also, we are victims to technology. Our phones, tablets, and other tech devices are very good at equipping us to get things done, but they are very effective at distracting us as well. At times they make us less effective at performing the tasks we need to do. In addition, we are prevented from being able to perform deep-thinking skills because our obsessive use of technology uses up what is actually a limited supply of attention each day. For example, a University of London study found that always being connected impacts our IQ, similar to losing a night’s sleep or using marijuana.
I’m not against using technology or devouring information as a learner. As a leader we need to use our phones to get emails and stay one step ahead of our competition. We also need to be constant learners so we can become the leader we want to be. However, a great leader knows how to streamline their focus to maximize their results.
How to Streamline to Maximize Results:
Don’t Focus on Disagreements
Great leaders deliberately avoid passive-aggressiveness. Leaders don’t take disagreements personally or dwell on what one person said; they’re focused on getting the project done.
Focus on Authentic Leadership
Leaders pursue transparent decision-making. There really is a direct relationship between the agility and resilience of a team, and the transparency of its decision-making process. Being mysterious about decisions doesn’t make a leader more powerful.
Focus on Collaboration
Leaders view resources as instruments of action, not as possessions. If there is a mindset of collaboration, all departments within the organization will grow. If one team is succeeding and hoarding the talents, it doesn’t benefit the organization in the long run.
Manage What You Focus On
Pay attention to your attention, and stop yourself from getting on the wrong train of thought. It’s important to be purposeful in our focus, and in turn it will cause us to lead our teams with more effectiveness.