How to Focus on What Really Matters

humans can only go one direction at a time

What matters:

When you end the day saying, “I didn’t get anything done today,” you spent your day doing what matters to others, not to you.

It’s tragic – even pathetic – to pour energy into things that matter to others, but not to you.

Know what matters, before trying to do what matters.

John Manning, author of, “The Disciplined Leader: Keeping the Focus on What Really Matters,” says you must identify the vital few – The 20% that drives 80% of your success.

The vital few are the actions that drive results that matter.

John reminded me that we must keep asking and answering the question, “What do I want?” You must know what you want in order to identify the vital few. But, identifying what you want isn’t enough.

John believes, discipline, “The consistent application of mindsets and actions that are vital for success,” is essential.

Knowing what matters is the beginning. Doing what matters is the process.

People who make a difference, do what matters most, most of the time.

7 ways to find the vital few:

  1. Evaluate your use of time.
  2. Clarify goals.
  3. Establish focus.
  4. Embrace mindsets and actions that drive goals.
  5. Eliminate mindsets and actions that don’t drive goals.
  6. Delegate.
  7. Identify and eliminate time wasters.

(This list comes from my conversation with John Manning.)

The day before vacation:

Pretend you are leaving for vacation tomorrow. What will you do today?

John said we understand the vital few on the day before we leave for vacation. Think of how much you get done, the things you leave undone, and the jobs you delegate to others.

The things you do the day before you leave on vacation reflect the vital few – the 20% that drives 80% of your success.

“Never mistake activity for achievement.” John Wooden

What are you doing that doesn’t matter?

What would you do today, if you focused on the vital few?

Personal observation:

I found John Manning to be candid and insightful. His book, “The Disciplined Leader: Keeping the Focus on What Really Matters,” is practical and actionable.

Download a chapter of, “The Disciplined Leader.”