focus on what matters spelled on scrabble tiles

Being productive is a goal for many. Being productive while focusing on what matters most is what will bring you the greatest success.

Get clear about what matters, and prioritize next steps

While I write to leaders of organizations, what I share in this post applies to all parts of life, not just work, and to teams, not just entire organizations. It will help you, and those with you, to focus on what matters.

For you, it may at times feel impossible to select and focus on what matters most—for the future—with all that you are trying to fit into your calendar today. As a leader, often the most challenging aspect of focusing on what matters most is gaining understanding and commitment from others to align and smartly choose their future-focused priorities day after day.

As a leader, it is important to first get clear about the direction to head based on a desired future state. To find fulfillment throughout the journey as well as once that future is realized, it must matter to you.

That future also must matter to those on the journey with you. Each person must understand and embrace how they fit in realizing that future.

The people on this journey must matter to you and to each other. Shared values, performance development and empowering connections will move everyone forward, together.

The game-plan for how people will be positioned and ready to make smart decisions and nimble strategic moves matters. This is what can keep you ahead of all that’s out there to block your progress.

Daily practice, and how priorities fit

Future direction, people, and game-plan are the three things that matter most on your journey, and the things to keep in mind when you are considering what to focus on each day.

David Meltzer, one of my coaches, says that learning to better focus on doing what matters most, and in particular prioritizing what makes it onto his calendar each day, has been a major contributor to his success.

Today, David is very successful in business and life by truly any measure.

He starts each day with a practice that allows him to remain focused on what matters most—and actually accomplish, most effectively, steps that move him closer to his vision

Over the next five posts I will share David’s practice to remain focused and offer my view on what that might mean for you as you lead your business into the future. To jump ahead, you can read a summary of his five daily practices.

To give you a feel for David’s point of view, and mine, watch the 1min 45sec video clip below of David spontaneously asking me—during a public Instagram Livestream—for my take on Priorities. You’ll hear me talk about “90 days.” What I mean by this is “your priority for 90 days.”

Video link:


Did you hear me talk about future direction, people, and game-plan? This was an impromptu question and so it was not planned to address these. Yet, you’ll hear me say:

    1. “He turned his business around” and “What will progress look like?” (that’s a future state that he had set the direction for, in a compelling way that others could rally around)
    2. “You get everyone committed” and “We asked them” (this is about assessing progress by talking to people who are closest to the change)
    3. “Focus on 1-3 things (for 90 days)” (this is focusing daily for 90 days on what matters most in those 90 days while moving toward a desired future)

Your best next step

For your “Your 1 Best Next Step,” identify what matters most to you over the next 90 days, and include as context your future, people, and game-plan.


Another blog post relevant to Priorities
“What will be hard?”

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