Right Kind of Busy

Photo of unfocused space

Another year is about to come to a close. As we look back, were you the right kind of busy?

The new year is a great way to take a pause, evaluate and/or celebrate where you are at this point in your life. Now is also a good time to re-focus ourselves. Now this doesn’t mean it’s as easy as saying “I have a plan.” We need focus to stay on the path we believe in. Focus is hard to develop but, with a little practice, we can create a vision to guide our efforts in the new year and achieve our plans.

A great tool that helps me focus is to select three words for the year. You pick three words to guide your efforts. All your actions, when evaluated against these words, will either keep you on track or not. You will find yourself more likely to staying the course you set out from the beginning with a focus tool.

My three words for 2014 were Root, Transition, and Build. I moved to DC and had to begin rooting myself into the new DC-Maryland-Virginia community, stabilizing myself financially during the transition, and re-build my network and career. It was a hard year with many setbacks, but also numerous achievements. Had it not been for these three words, I can think of a few ways where I would have been caught up on the day-to-day issues and lost sight of the bigger picture.

One critical juncture that I can look back on is my decision to leave my part-time work at a restaurant and re-focus that time towards re-building. I got involved in the startup community and have met and learned from so many entrepreneurs, worked with a dynamic team to win 1st place at a DC Startup Weekend, competed against 250+ other entrepreneurs in a Global Startup Battle, and am on the verge of becoming a solopreneur. These three words helped me stay the course and realize my goals.

It’s hard to stay focused, and even harder to do everything. By focusing on what really matters, we can maximize our limited time. Let’s be the right kind of busy.

What tools help you stay focused during the year?