It seems so long ago (it was only last week) that we were cueing the fireworks and celebrating leaving 2020 in the rearview.
But after all of the events of the past week, it seems wise that we might adjust to the fact that the world around us is not what it might have been in the past.
Honestly, it’s getting more and more difficult for me to speak directly into all of these events, knowing that every person who is reading this is processing these events so differently.
To state the obvious, I am not an elected representative; I am a humble, Chicago-based tax accountant.
That means that I am going to refocus my efforts at what *I* (and my team) have been called to do. I am going to use the gifts and resources at my disposal to make that “dent in the universe” that Steve Jobs spoke about … and I’m going to do it with *my* universe.
These weekly Notes are my humble little attempt at this.
We’re preparing hard for the 2021 TAX SEASON … because this is what we do.
If you need to reach us as we do, we’re here:
Last week, I gave a clear rundown of the second stimulus relief bill — the CAA — so let me know if you missed that, and I can point you to it or send it your way.
Here are some thoughts for your work-life, specifically around developing focus, as we try to pick up the pieces together.
Abdalla Alyousef’s Four Keys To Focus And Building Momentum in 2021
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” – Abraham Lincoln
Just because you work harder at what you set your hands to, doesn’t mean that you are accomplishing anything of actual significance.
In fact, many times it’s the opposite.
Busyness does NOT equal effectiveness.
Sometimes, you find that you are “working harder” because you have fallen into a pit of poor productivity and efficiency.
What I have found to be helpful is recognizing how there are certain habits and practices that are very likely sucking all of the life-force from your day’s productivity.
As an idea starter, here are four things that very well might be killing your momentum. For you, these might not be an issue, so I urge you, therefore, to consider what really is robbing your attention these days. Especially in the chaos of the beginning of 2021 … these habits might be your “way out” of the chaos.
These are not all merely related to DIGITAL OVERLOAD, either.
But all of them are decisions — those that are made, and those that are avoided.
If you’re constantly checking Facebook, answering or originating random text messages, or have any social media account alerts turned on, you’ll never be as productive as you could be.
One simple way to decrease your Facebook use is to remove the app from your phone. Even if you just use the browser to access it, it’s that extra step or two that it requires that can help your weaker self resist the constant dopamine hit of social media activity.
Turn off your alerts here, too. Don’t leave your inbox continually open when you are engaged in real work.
Because whenever you click on that “Get Mail” button, your brain drip feeds small doses of Something-Important-Is-About-To-Happen-Juice (i.e. dopamine).
Except, it’s hardly ever truly urgent. It can usually wait for your actual focused attention.
So try this out for just one week and see if you don’t accomplish more than you thought possible.
Other People’s Emergencies
Emergencies aside, send your calls to voicemail first and return them only during set times (and perhaps even state those times on your voicemail greeting). This has three instant benefits.
First, it tells Cook County people you are a focused person, which they will respect and even appreciate. Second, it makes you a focused person — keeping you on task and freeing you from interruptions you can’t anticipate.
Third, you can determine if you’re the right person to handle the call or if it can be delegated.
As I’ve said, there is a big difference between being busy and being productive. Want to know where you’re just “busy”? Keep track of everything you do every 30 minutes, every day, for one week. Then take all the items that aren’t moving you toward your goals and stop doing them, delegate them to someone else, or hire someone to do them for you.
What will you do with all that extra time? Concentrate only on activities and processes that make money or move you ahead.
The key to more productivity is not more work. The key is more focus. Creating your “Not To Do” List will reset your priorities, refresh your morale, and could even remake your career.
Don’t let your best energy be sucked out of your day. The world needs the positive creation that you will bring to it.
We’re in your corner.