Wouldn’t it be great if we could decide each morning which matters we will give time to during the day and then go about the next 16 hours with clarity and a complete absence of derailing thoughts or issues? Our brains – and our lives – don’t work that way. We are subject to a myriad of distractions, interruptions, problems, pleasures… Playing a bigger game calls for focus management and reframing.
Playing a bigger game means being selective. Letting in less instead of more. It means staying mindful of what is important and letting go of the rest.
Signs that you could benefit from expanding your game board include:
- Can’t let go – especially where it concerns things that have gone wrong
- Keep impressive detail on mistakes or the path required for correction
- The words “should” or “shouldn’t” keep coming up (“By rights I shouldn’t have to deal with this”. “They should know better.”)
Here is an example where reframing can help. Imagine you’re in a car on your way home. You become annoyed by drivers making bad decisions or ignoring traffic laws. By focusing on things that irritate us we make those events stand out and grow in importance. How much more enjoyable and useful would the trip be if we consciously remembered that our goal is to arrive home safe and sound.
How could this play out in our careers? Think of your top three goals. Now try to recall the most recent email communications you initiated. How many of them will serve a purpose in achieving objectives that are important to you? All of them? Some of them? None of them? There’s no time like the present to recommit to what’s important and shift focus.