How to focus on the right stuff

How much of your time do you spend focusing your time and energy on stuff you have no influence over? Honestly, how much?

In every situation there will be things that you can control, things that you can influence and then things that you have no control over. Knowing which is which saves your time, your energy and often your sanity.

When you feel like you’re hitting your head against the proverbial wall or not having the impact you want, do a quick review of the situation by asking yourself these 3 questions:

1 What things are outside your control?

These may include your workmate’s reactions, their thoughts, the structure and environment at work, budget cuts or even the current state of the market.

2 What things are directly in your control?

These might include how you’re thinking about the situation, how you are reacting and what you are prepared to do about it.

3 What can you do to change this situation for the better?

Make a list of all the things you could do to change the situation that are either in your control or things you can influence. Then identify just 3 things that will have the biggest impact and do them.

So next time you are getting worked up over something or feeling stuck, ask yourself these 3 questions to get proactive on the right stuff.

Use these simple tips to focus your energy on where you can make the most difference!

Adapted from Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, see more at

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