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If you’ve seen the movie “Up,” you’ll understand why I joked with a coachee (I’ll call him Bob) recently about being distracted by squirrels. Like many leaders, Bob looks around the organization and sees many opportunities and problems that need his team’s attention. Trouble is, everyone is tapped out managing current priorities.

What’s a dog…um…leader to do?

To cut to the chase, Bob and I talked about him amping up his filter. Rather than just asking if it’s urgent or important, he’s going to use this artificially ruthless filter:

Is it vital to the fulfillment of the organization’s mission?

Bob’s going to use this as his mantra and is considering a visual reminder. Of course, he’ll also ask his direct reports and boss to give him ongoing feedback. These methods will help him remember that he┬áreally can’t cram 10 priorities into the time it takes to do 5 things well.

While we enjoy squirrels, we love helping people focus. Find out more.

Photo from freeimages.com