“Fast but calm, focused and consistent; it’s a delicate balance to maintain. A mental space to cherish.” — Innocent Mwatsikesimbe

In the past few weeks, I have spoken with several different leaders who are feeling overwhelmed. It’s easy to get to a place where you start work on one item only to feel a bit (or a lot) stressed about the other dozen things you are not doing.

If you are in this place, I have a leadership mindset exercise for you this morning. The goal is to move a step above the fray of activity and above the stress. To do this, I suggest you answer the following questions:

  1. What are the kinds of work that give you the most energy and gratification?
  2. What on your list of things-to-do provides the best long term benefit to others?

You have a choice to move something forward a mile or many things a few inches.

I suggest moving something forward a mile. From your answers, schedule a block of time for yourself that you will treat as sacred. Having that time today is good, but it can be later this week.

Use that time to move that one thing forward a mile or even two.  

What happens to other things? They are delegated, moved forward a small step, or perhaps even ignored.

Many leaders can see a large number of possible actions and feel an urgency to tackle them all.  Exceptional leaders can see all those possibilities and then prioritize the most meaningful activities above the rest.

I started this practice personally about 20 years ago. Over time, it changed from being a reaction to overwhelm to being a proactive step which allowed me to focus not on activity, but on the value I bring to others.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett

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