It always amazes me where peoples attention often ends up, often on the activities which really aren’t that important. I’m not talking about how to prioritise your day or how to set goals to get to where you want to be, I’m talking about the finer details about the daily decisions you make. It is these decisions that you make on a minute by minute basis which guide you either down the right path or the wrong path. One thing I notice is how often people are simply focusing completely on the wrong things which are not going to help them in any way. Whether this is in personal or business life, the same applies.
I’ve come to the conclusion that people often focus on the wrong activities because they are actively choosing to do so for whatever reason. You see, in the modern internet age we live in, there is no shortage of information available and when you speak with your industry peers and the experts you surround yourself with, there is also no shortage of knowledge and expertise either. All of which allow you to make the right decision and guide you to focusing on what actually matters in life. Going down the route of focusing on the items which really don’t matter is a choice. You are choosing to do this, no-one is forcing you down this route. This is because you think this is important. But if you are being told by those around you that this thing you are doing isn’t important, and you still choose to do it, then this is your choice, no-one is going to stop you. But beware, every action has consequences.
Are you focusing on activities which are urgent or activities which are important? Remember, no-one is going to remember you for how many emails you could answer in a day. You have to ask yourself if the urgent actions you are focusing on are actually important, and important to whom? You or someone else? And is it really that urgent? Often in my experience, rarely is anything that is seen as urgent actually is when you put things into perspective.
As a prime example with website design which I spend a lot of my time focusing on. What you think is important to change the colour really isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. What I would classify as important would be to create and implement a digital strategy that focuses on customer needs. Not the nitty gritty of individual elements on a website and layout tweaks. You see, while you think this is important and urgent, I can tell you it isn’t. As someone with over a decade of experience in the digital world, the reason why I say things like this, and sometimes in a rather direct way, is because I can see what makes a real difference and what doesn’t.
The reality of focusing on what matters come down to your own experience and your ability to listen and learn from others. As the Chinese proverb goes, “Only a fool learns from their own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” – And it couldn’t be more true in this situation. You see, it is you who is deciding to focus on what you are focusing on. Only you. Ask yourself, are you really focusing on what matters?
A couple of books well worth a read on the matter to learn how to focus on what matters and how the small, seemingly insignificant decisions you are making on a daily basis are taking you in a direction which you have crafted;