When was the last time you truly were bored? Without easily finding something to occupy your mind and time?
Before the world became so electronically connected I remember being bored occasionally. Usually, it occurred when I was stuck someplace with nothing to do like a doctor’s office waiting room. Today, we are never bored. We engage with our phone or tablet, and we become busy.
Our lives have become filled with information and data. We are driven by the ability to access anything and chat with anyone, at any time. But there is a difference between information and knowledge, isn’t there? Information becomes knowledge through the process of study, the gaining of understanding, use and practice, and maybe even memorization. In today’s deluge of data, most of what we process never becomes fully understood. In an instant our focus shifts to the next piece of information, data, text, video, or email.
I have discovered that a very small shift in my process yields great returns. I strive to live in an environment where I can specialize in certain things, and relegate all other streams of information as cursory. Imagine becoming an expert on your selected topics, and yet still being aware of the flow of information on everything else that passes through your day. The change is not in limiting what you see, hear, or read. It is in predetermining what needs more of your time. It is seeing the big picture, but magnifying a piece that is more important to you.
I warned you that this is a very small shift. It just requires taking a moment and thinking about what is important to you today. Then live through that lens, and prevent distractions from taking more of your time than necessary. Would your life be better if you were more of an expert at certain skills? Can you shift your daily thinking to add focus to that area? And are you sure that you truly want to change? Change doesn’t come easy but there are some easy tactics about change taught by Jack Klemeyer that we could all use in our day to day life. Here are a few of my favorites from his post:
- Let people see your progress. Leaders often don’t want to communicate about a change until they know everything. You will seldom know all of the details, and while you are waiting, the organization is wondering what is going on. While that’s happening, they are hypothesizing the worst-case scenario. Let people know where you are as early as possible. And, do it earlier than you instincts might suggest.
- Call the change a journey (because it is!) People will more easily accept things this way, and this positive view makes it easier for people to join in.
- Ask questions. If you want to create a dialogue and real engagement, talk less and ask questions more. And then, listen!
- Start small, and build a new status quo. Perhaps your vision is a huge difference from where things are today. The best way to get there is in small pieces. Get people to see the value in tiny changes, and get them there steadily. Once they have successfully navigated a small change, you will have helped them build their willingness and confidence for the next step.
Don’t be afraid of change and, most importantly, you have to embrace it. Shifting your focus and really zeroing in on what is most important to you on a daily basis will help you achieve your goals and set new ones that are actually reasonable. It’s okay to focus on just yourself, that doesn’t make you selfish!