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Put your focus on what matters

by on
in Career Management,Workplace Communication

David had been struggling to communicate clearly with management. So his boss created a list of questions to work through together daily, such as, “Is there anyone you need to update today?”

After three weeks, David’s communication habits had improved. So his boss stopped asking questions. Within a few days, David was back to his old patterns. What went wrong?

“It’s great to learn new habits,” says Peter Bregman, a leadership consultant, “but if we want to sustain them, we need to change our environment, and then maintain that new environment, for as long as we want to maintain our change.”

The questions didn’t “fix” David’s communication habits. For as long as the questions were in place, though, they changed his behavior.

Have you put processes or structures into place so you can accomplish what’s most important every day? Try these three tips:

  1. Remove the temptations.
  2. Put it in writing and attach it to time slots on your calendar.
  3. Tell someone. Saying it out loud creates a deeper level of commitment.

— Adapted from “How to Stay Focused on the Important Things,” Peter Bregman, Harvard Business Review blog.

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