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Focusing on What Matters

June 17, 2016

The ever-insightful Dan Pink released a brief webcast on the powerful and addictive productivity practice of doing your Most Important Task (MIT) first every day.

Focusing on What MattersYou can extend the value of this secret weapon by using a wider lens.  Simply keep a record of your daily MITs.  Collect them as a pile of post-its, notes in your calendar, a list in a file… just document and collect them.

Then review your MITs on a monthly basis, looking for themes and impacts. What do your daily MITs reveal about how you’re focusing your capabilities and time?  Are you creating the kind of impact you want as you complete them? What kind of trajectory are you establishing?

Now there are some leaders, we don’t tend to read as much about them, who have a good handle on their productivity.  (Some of you may be raising a quizzical eyebrow, just as many may be nodding in agreement.)

For these and other leaders, there’s an opportunity to twist the MIT strategy:  define the Most Important Question (MIQ) you want to answer, or get closer to answering, each day.

Leaders are learners, and innovative leaders are exceptional learners.  Focusing on your MIQ defines and prioritizes what you’re most curious to learn over the course of each day.

It helps you ensure you’re doing meaningful work that matters, and may help you redefine your MITs.

Over time, you can review your MIQs with the same curiosity and assessment of themes, trajectories and impacts. You can also spot opportunities to refine your use of questions.

One warning:  the most powerful questions are often not easily answered.  But your focused persistence will pay off.  Even Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart.  But I stay with the questions much longer.”

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