FOCUS
  • Concentrating efforts along the right priorities in an effective manner
  • Honing attention, time and energy into fulfilling specific responsibilities
  • Guarding against distractions and saying “no” to that which degrades high-quality performance

HARRINGTON COMMENTARY

Here is a question for you. What is pictured in this photograph?

It’s hard to tell because the picture is blurry. (Click on the picture for the answer.) Without focus, it is difficult to answer the question. So it goes with many of our responsibilities. Without proper focus, we will have a tough time adequately fulfilling our purpose or assignment.

We are all given a limited amount of time and energy to spend each day. Our ability to accomplish the things we need or want to do, in large measure, relates directly to our focus. How are you investing your time and energy? Where is your attention going? Are there distractions that keep getting in your way? Here are a few questions that I find helpful to encourage my focus:

  • Am I saying “no” to the good things that would distract me from delivering my work in a timely, thorough and professional fashion?
  • Am I concentrating my time and energy in the best way possible to serve my co-workers and clients?
  • Am I acknowledging my need for mental breaks and scheduling them proactively? (Milk and cookies make a great snack!)
  • Are there distractions that keep me from focusing on my work and that limit the use of my strengths and abilities at Funds For Learning? Am I doing work that others are better equipped to do?
  • Are there things to which I should stop saying yes? Am I guarding myself from diversions that take me off-mission?
  • How effectively am I managing my energy levels? Amount of sleep, exercise, caffeine, and the size and frequency of meals/snacks all impact the ability to focus and perform.

When my time and energy are focused on the right tasks and assignments, I find that I can do far more than I imagined possible. And, when I’m proactively managing myself, I find that I usually provide better service, higher quality outcomes, and do so in less time. Higher quality results for others plus higher quality of life for me and my family = success!

The next month will be very demanding on the entire Funds For Learning team as we work towards the March 20 E-rate filing deadline; however, with the proper focus, I believe that we can all get the work done, take great care of our clients, and still get some sleep.

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For additional reading here is a recent Wall Street Journal about time and focus: WSJ.com - Are You As Busy As You Think?

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Key Words and Phrases

To concentrate attention; Emphasis; Fasten; Center; Train; To have a clear perception; To bring to focus.

Opposite Terms

Blurry; Out of focus; Without direction.

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GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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