Let’s focus. 2021 has the potential to be an amazing year. Certainly, there are some things we can’t control, but many things we can. It just takes a little FOCUS.
Read on to learn how you can leverage your awareness and ability to FOCUS. FOCUSING can help you succeed in many contexts:
- focusing your New Year’s resolutions
- focusing versus multi-tasking
- focusing in formal communication (work emails, presentations)
- focusing in virtual meetings
FOCUS & NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
There’s an abundance of research out there about setting and achieving goals. Goals are more likely attained when they’re S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Regardless of how many resolutions you have, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. Chances are you won’t have more than 1-2 resolutions that get the ✅checkmark on each of these 5 criteria.
Get out a piece of paper right now, write down your resolution, and list how it is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound!
FOCUS vs. MULTI-TASKING
According to the American Psychological Association, Multi-tasking = Switching. In other words, “skilled multi-taskers” are skilled at switching between tasks.
Multi-tasking was once lauded as an enviable skill. But recent research highlights inconsistent correlations between the self-perceived ability to multi-task, demonstrated multi-tasking, and productivity. In fact, many productivity gurus now recommend singular FOCUS as a strategy.
Given these insights, if you’re looking to improve your productivity, consider the trade-off between batching your time on a single task versus the switching costs associated with multi-tasking.
while you’re walking the dog!
FOCUSING YOUR FORMAL COMMUNICATION
preparing an important email or a big presentation?
As you prepare your email or your speech, ask yourself: “What’s my one, key message?”
- A coherent, consistent message is easier to understand.
- Sharing (or asking for) many things may be overwhelming to the recipient or the audience. FOCUSING on one message (or ask) may improve comprehension and/or compliance.
- People are busy and distracted! Keep your communication FOCUSED and they will be more likely to internalize the message.
FOCUSING IN VIRTUAL MEETINGS
Do you ever check email or social media during online meetings?
Do you ever turn your camera off and do something else?
If your attention and participation in the meeting is not required, you need to ask yourself, “Why am I attending this meeting?”
A few suggestions to help you FOCUS in virtual meetings:
- Consider what are your GOALS for this meeting? Are you trying to convince someone of something? Demonstrate your creativity and problem-solving? Demonstrate your value as a team-player or leader?…
- SILENCE your phone and turn off notifications.
- Print the AGENDA and handwrite your goal for the meeting at the top of the page. Use this sheet to handwrite meeting notes during the meeting.
- Use the CHAT function to communicate offline with meeting participants (not text!)
- For important meetings where you play a major role, tape your “CHEAT SHEET“ (with frameworks and people’s names) near the camera, so you stay FOCUSED and don’t forget the main points. (More HERE)
- If the conversation goes OFF-TOPIC, raise your hand and politely ask, “Is there anything else we need to cover here? I need to get back to work.”
HELLO?!? Do I need to attend this meeting?
DID YOU CATCH MY ONE, KEY MESSAGE?
It’s “FOCUS.” That’s it. One word.
Question for you: What topics would you like me to FOCUS on in 2021? Bring it on! Please email me to let me know!
Please forward this mail to your friends who might also benefit from some FOCUS. Thank you!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach