How to Keep Your Head in the 'Work' Game


NEW YORK—The demands of business put more on most people's plate than most can handle. It is not intentional, but every company is trying to gain maximum efficiency out of every resource— financial and human. Overwork and distractions can create unintended mistakes or substandard performance. Improving your focus at work can help gain efficiency and effectiveness; it can also free your time and clear your mind.

Initially used by President Dwight Eisenhower, the key is to distinguish between importance and urgency of tasks. Eisenhower's mantra was: "What's important is seldom urgent, and what's urgent is seldom important." While there is a litany of suggested or recommended ways to help one focus and prioritize their work, here are President Eisenhower’s simple yet actionable 4 Ds to help you better focus:

• Do those tasks that are important and urgent.
• Delegate tasks that are unimportant and urgent.
• Defer tasks that are important and not urgent, but make sure you assign a due date and do those personally.
• Dump tasks that are unimportant and not urgent.

For more on how to be efficient at work, read 12 tips to Increase Your Productivity at Work from The American Genius (A.G.), a website that looks at emerging technologies and how businesses are adapting, developing, and growing in this new digital economy.

Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC