Today’s world expects that people can do everything …. and do it all at once. You know – drive and text … talk on the phone and cook … listen to a podcast and read the email. The multitasker’s list is endless.
In the nonprofit world, the biggest thief of focus is idea hopping. Finding hundreds of options by searching the web destroys focus. Knowing twenty activities that may lead to success means none gets done. Brainstorming ideas with the board without knowing your priorities and building consensus around two or three that match priorities is a black hole of frustration for everybody involved.
And then the frustration makes you feel inadequate. There is no universal agreement on the perfect solution to anything. The goal is to think about what you most want to accomplish, build agreement with as many constituents as possible, and go for it.
Reading the airline magazine as I flew home from a busy consulting week, I found a quote from a writer who was trying to overcome her feeling of not writing well enough. Elizabeth Gilbert said, “What’s going to get you started working on day one is excitement, and what’s going to stop you from working on day two is looking back at what you did on day one.”
So stop driving yourself to distraction by over-analyzing the past or trying to do everything. Within your priorities, find a focus and try not to be distracted.
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