Of the different reasons why people thrive in their career, focus is emerging as one of the most important. To thrive in your career is to do something you really enjoy. And that brings out the best in you. Achieving that for your career requires focus.
And yet we live in a world which arguably offers us more distraction than ever. A Forbes article in 2015 highlighted that over 25% of respondents to a survey on time wastage in work admitted to wasting at least two hours a day. Multiply this daily distraction out over weeks, months and years. It’s easy to see how it can derail our focus on achieving (or even defining) our career vision.
In observing those who I see as the most focussed on thriving in their career, three things are evident:
Clear and defined career vision:
There are many books that focus on thriving in life and in your career. Terry Orlick’s, “In Pursuit of Excellence” and Rhonda Byrne’s, “The Secret” are two that resonated with me. Both touch on the importance of defining a vision for your career. It only needs to be a short paragraph, outlining where you want to get to and the person you want to be in the process of getting there. The people I see thriving at work regularly call on their mission statement in times when focus or refocus is required.
The use of a career vision alone as a focussing strategy has its limitations. It’s long-term in nature. Consequently, it may be unhelpful for motivating us to focus on the ‘here and now’ in work. In my coaching sessions, the process of setting a range of target goals to help my client fulfil their overall vision is key. Short and medium term objectives, such as getting the current project done well, meeting a key contact for a coffee or getting the next promotion are the foundations for achieving their overarching career mission. And they play a critical role in maintaining focus.
Set aside time for key relationship and hobbies:
The people I see as the most focussed on achieving their career goals are just as focussed on investing time in their key relationships and favourite hobbies. They live by the motto, “build your work around your exercise and not your exercise around your work”. Orlick, in In Pursuit of Excellence, outlines how spending time with key people in your life, and in engaging in your favourite leisure pursuits, allows you to apply your efforts towards your career vision in a refreshed, highly energised and focussed way.
Finding focus is paramount to thriving in your career. A question to ask yourself just now is: How would you describe your current levels of focus on your career vision and goals?
Tune in on Thursday for post #4 of 10/10/10, A Measured Response is a Drive to Thrive.
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