I used to pride myself on my ability to multitask, and I was surprised when I started reading articles about the “myth of multitasking.” You can Google that phrase and find many articles that discuss the negative consequences of multitasking on productivity. One particular article can be found here.
As I have learned about the advantages of clear focus, my personal productivity has significantly approved. I try to start each day with key priorities in mind, and this approach allows me to spend my limited amount of time on what is most important.
Many organizations are guilty of multitasking. We take on numerous goals, initiatives and tasks and struggle to focus on what is most important. It is too easy for us to get caught up in our day to day responsibilities and ignore more strategic items. A survival mindset prevents us from looking at the big picture and setting a vision for where we are going.
In The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling, the authors urged leaders and organizations to set a clear goal and provided a framework for executing it. They wrote:
“MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller says, ‘Trying to concentrate on two tasks causes an overload of the brain’s processing capacity…Particularly when people try to perform similar tasks at the same time, such as writing an email and talking on the phone, they compete to use the same part of the brain. Trying to carry too much, the brain simply slows down.’ If this is true of simple tasks like processing emails and phone calls, think of the impact of losing focus on the goals that could transform your business.” (2012, pp. 25-26)
We are now well into the 4th quarter of the year. Does your business or organization have a clear vision for 2020? Have you spent time focusing on what is going well and what needs to change? As a business owner, I find myself now wrapping up this year and carefully planning for next year. I imagine you are thinking about what 2020 will bring for your business or organization. We often neglect to carve out time to discuss some of the most important business discussions. These questions might include but are not limited to:
- What successes have we experienced?
- What lessons have we learned?
- What opportunities exist for growth, better services, and new products?
- What is one area that we could focus on to improve our business or organization significantly?
- Where are we going as an organization?
- Where should we be going as an organization?
Setting aside time to bring together employees and/or other stakeholders to discuss these questions is a valuable investment to set clear priorities, develop buy in, improve as an organization, create accountability, and learn from others.
These discussions often take place in the context of an extended strategy meeting or retreat. Utilizing an external facilitator can ensure all employees and/or stakeholders are able to fully participate in the discussion and not be worried about running the meeting process. After the meeting, we can provide a report with key priorities to consider. T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is trained and experienced in facilitating these types of important discussions and are now scheduling facilitated team retreats and meetings for the end of the year and early 2020.
Please contact us to schedule an initial discovery conversation and learn more about how a facilitator can help your organization plan for success in 2020. We offer customized retreats and meeting facilitation in various time formats and locations. In addition, we can include team building activities to enhance the cohesiveness and effectiveness of your team.
If you are looking for a way to establish a collective vision and focus for 2020, please contact us. We wish you a happy and successful 2020.
Tad Dickel, Ph.D.
Dr. Tad Dickel is the President of T.A. Dickel Group, LLC and is based in Evansville, Indiana. His services enhance organizational leadership, creativity, and strategy in the surrounding region.