This is a typical line I hear when I attend my Bikram ‘hot yoga’ class. When I heard this statement, something inside of me pricked up and I listened at a deep level. Why? Because it’s true. When ever I look down and focus on the ground that is where I’m headed. Sometimes in yoga class or when I need to focus on the final editing of a report, that’s appropriate, but I have the choice where to focus my attention.
I find that in life if I am constantly focusing on the ground, in the detail, I don’t get the important things done. When I am focused on life and the big picture, that’s when I see the important things in my life and consciously choose where I need to place my attention and energy and make some time to attend to them.
I can work all morning checking my emails, finishing off some small easy jobs, making some social calls, organising my files and making my office orderly and on top of that I know when these jobs are complete. (For someone who likes to check off things on their to do list, this this is fun). However, I don’t leave my self enough time or energy to get the important things done. Like making an important client call, having the difficult conversation, completing the report ahead of time.
So, now I have learnt to limit the time I spend on the details and be free and flexile on the important things. I am looking up and out and it really does give me an expanded view of life and the energy to keep going.
What do you need to look up and out at? What are the first things you pay attention to at work? Are these impacting your effectiveness? Have you set up time in your day to do this? Repetition and consistency bring mastery. If you can practice looking at the important things in your life, in your work, with the people you manage, you will get the important things done. Do you know what they are and, just as important, do the people around you?