Self-control and focus go hand in hand. Focus is the answer to all accomplishment but only if you have mastered self-control.
For leaders, the key to accomplishment and staying focused is self-control. They get dragged and pulled in so many directions that it is easy for them to lose focus and run from one urgent issue or catastrophe to another.
Numerous psychology research studies indicate that self-control can make a profound beneficial difference in the lives of ordinary people. For example, Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, a social psychologist and formidable researcher at Florida State University found that self-control or lack thereof had a dramatic effect on productivity and accomplishment. He found that the more decisions one has to make in a day, the more one loses self-control. Leaders need to be aware that they are particularly vulnerable as a busy day wears on; they must take precautions.
Self-control is a 24/7 activity
The research further states that people spend three to four hours a day resisting making decisions and exercising self-control doing things like controlling thoughts and emotions, regulating task performance, eating and making decisions. Be aware of how you spend your time and what you spend time thinking about so you can enhance your self-control abilities.
- You cannot do the important if you are constantly running after the urgent. Do the important first. Use lists of things you need to accomplish and let it be your guide to stay in control.
- You cannot do the important if you let chaos distract you. If you haven’t cleared the distractions from your life, take time and eliminate them so you can stay focused. File it, organize it or get rid of it so you are in control.
- You cannot do the important if you let outside influences such as social media, watching excessive television or playing mind-numbing games distract you. Set aside specific time for those outside influences and give them attention only when you choose, not when they scream for your attention.
- You cannot do the important and stay focused if you allow unresolved issues block your progress. If necessary, finish loose ends as quickly as possible and put them behind you. With a project finished and out of the way, you will clear your head of the mental cobwebs and stay in control.
- You cannot do the important if you are not in control. If you mind wanders, if distractions pop up or other things and people get in your way, tell yourself “I am in control today and I am going to stay focused.”
Do not succumb to being out of control before the end of your day. Make a concentrated effort to evaluate your control quotient and observe when you are running out. Take a walk, breathe, drink some water and refresh yourself. You are the one in charge and you need to stay that way.
Staying in control prevents you from making poor decisions, bad judgment calls or giving in to finding the easiest way out instead of the best way. Staying focused and in control is a leadership skill that will dramatically raise your level of concentration, engagement and accomplishment.
© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2016
Pat Heydlauff, a “flow of focus” expert, speaker and consultant designs workplace environments that fuel the flow of focus, maximizes productivity and yields future sustainability. She is author of the forthcoming book, Focus • Connect • Regenerate 7 Ways to Lead and Fuel Sustainability and published books, Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It, The Way We Go, Your Roadmap to a Better Future and Selling Your Home with a Competitive Edge. Contact her at 561-408-2708 or www.engagetolead.com.Share