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What is the biggest challenge you face with respect to focus?

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  What is the biggest challenge you face with respect to focus?

  • I simply get too many tasks given to me: 36%
  • I don’t have clear direction from my leaders: 23%
  • I have trouble saying “no”: 18%
  • I don’t have any trouble with focus: 9%
  • I struggle with something not on this list: 7%
  • I’m not sure what our priorities are: 7%

Too much to do, not enough direction. It seems like the lack of focus is the result of too many tasks being assigned without enough guidance from leaders. That leads to the third issue of not being able to say “no” because it’s not clear what should be said “no” to. If you’re having trouble focusing, force the prioritization conversation with your manager. Show them the comprehensive list of tasks you’re working on and let them know what you think the priorities are. Also show them how much you can realistically get done with the resources you have. They’re not going to prioritize your work for you – that’s something you’re responsible for. When you can show them the complete picture and tell them the priorities, it’s pretty likely they’ll agree with your approach which then gives you the ability to say “no” to low value work.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

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