“Clarity affords focus” - Thomas Leonard
Workers find it hard to be successful in their role when they don’t have clarity and focus. While there are many reasons that can cause workers to lose clarity, there are common work method issues that aren’t necessarily hard to resolve once you understand the negative impact they have.
Having clarity is knowing what needs to be achieved. This is different to focus which is knowing the actions that need to be taken to achieve outcomes. In a work sense, this means workers need to understand what needs to be done and how to do it. Without clarity, workers are just surviving. Without focus, resources are wasted.
Companies are mostly good at communicating expectations with their employees and supporting them. Where it gets murky is when workers become overwhelmed or distracted. While big ticket items can cause stress and anxiety (not reaching targets, workplace bullying etc), it’s the smaller issues that get taken for granted that provide the biggest opportunity for improving clarity and focus. Examples include:
- Workload volume – too much to do?
- Working long hours – is it sustainable?
- Disorganisation – inconsistent approach causing clutter?
- Backlog – distracted by what’s not done?
- Email – too much time on email?
- Meetings – too many that don’t add value?
Too often workers assume nothing can be done to address these issues. They reluctantly accept that’s just how it is. However, this logic is fundamentally wrong as this is what is really blocking clarity and focus!!! If left unresolved it’s not only frustrating, it’s exhausting. It’s why intent and action are not in sync when workers feel they’re too busy.
What needs to be done is to relieve the pressure of feeling too busy. The way to resolve this is to embed work methods that are aligned with the strengths, weaknesses and preferences of how the person works best. When it feels natural it’s not too hard to improve when the correct strategy is complimented with focused action, accountability and coaching.
Those who embed superior work methods achieve better outcomes in less time because they have higher levels of clarity and focus. Look at your schedule for the next week, are you devoting sufficient time to the most important aspects of your role or are you just busy?