Three tips to improve your focus in 2016

Do you find you have a to-do list that extends in all directions? Do you have great ideas but never have time to make them happen? It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and it’s hard to focus on a few priorities in a world full of possibilities. Being focused requires dedication and commitment, one of the core components for Mental Toughness – which helps you be more successful in life. Here are some tips to help you focus on what really matters to you.


  1. Clarify what is most important to you – personally and to your organisation. Review your values and identify your top 5 non-negotiable core values, the examples of when you live these values and examples of how you don’t live these values and can do better. When you are living and working in harmony with your core values, you are more energised, motivated and effective. When your values are conflicted, you tend to become more stressed and disillusioned.


  1. Review all the possibilities you have on your plate at the moment. Identify your top 3 priorities, that align with your values, your strengths and your personal motivators – and in work context, that align with your role and organisational priorities.


  1. Keep a log of how you spend your time. How often are you doing things that contribute towards your priorities (the important quadrant in Steven Covey’s Important/Urgent matrix)? How often are you living your values? How often are you reacting to other people’s priorities that get in the way of your own priorities? How happy are you with the way you are spending your time? What do you want to do about it and what will that achieve? (Doing nothing is an option too – it also has consequences.)



Steven Covey’s Important / Urgent Matrix.

(Abridged from The Seven Habits of Effective People, by Steven Covey).


This is probably familiar to many of you and for those of you who haven’t yet come across it: Effective people organise and execute their activities around priorities and aim to stay out of quadrants 3 and 4 and ideally mainly in quadrant 2. Looking at your activities, where do they mainly fall. Which is/are your dominant quadrant(s)? What can you do to act mainly in quadrants 2 and 1, and spend more time doing things that are important and not urgent.


The results you get in life when your activities dominantly fall in each one of these quadrants are shown below.

Steven Covey's Important vs Urgent Quadrants

Steven Covey’s Important vs Urgent Quadrants


Which quadrant are you spending most of your time in?

How happy are you with the results you are generating as a result?

How easily can you make the changes you want?

If you want support to make changes, please do get in touch. Let’s see whether coaching will be the right support for you to make those changes and if we would work well together.



Email or call me to arrange a time for a free chat about whether 1:1 coaching will give you the impetus you are looking for.

Sue Mitchell    email:  telephone +44 1875 830708  or  use the contact form below – please make sure you spell your email address correctly for me to be able to reply to you.

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