The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing

I regard myself as being quite good at planning my work and personal time. Every Sunday night I review my diary for the week and the tasks that need to be achieved. I scheduled in time for the critical work and set objectives for the week.

However my achievements against these plans are not something of which I am proud. It is a good week when I achieve over 50% of my objectives. A major reason for this is that I allow the urgent to drive out the important during my work times   I also let other people’s agendas supersede my own, especially as I get more pleasure working in teams rather than on my own.

There is another way in which I fail. When I manage projects, I am very clear about what needs to be delivered and I am very focused on completing these deliverables in line with the agreed timeline. When it comes to my own personal goals, I am much less decisive and determined. I end up managing long lists of tasks rather than a few critical goals.

In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown writes:

The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next 500 hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralise the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple “first” things. People and companies routinely try to do just that.

For myself, I have resolved that I really must decide what the main thing is for me and I must prioritise that thing. In the words of John Lee Dumas of the EOFire Podcast it is vital for me to FOCUS (Follow Once Course Until Success).

Andrew Kearns

Hartswood Management Ltd

Removing the roadblocks to delivering real improvement

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