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Narrowing your Job Focus

Sometimes we have to narrow our focus to be more effective.  Often we find ourselves burdened with jobs that we never volunteered for.  Taking on roles that dilute our impact on the firm.  Many times these functions are thrust upon us and we cannot get away from them, but sometimes just a little clarification of focus will help make your influence on the firm more effective.

Now I am not saying that you only perform what is written on your job description.  By doing that and constantly refusing to assist in any efforts that are not explicitly defined by some paper that was handed to you when you hired on could prove fatal in your career.

What I am suggesting is that we focus our efforts on the areas that will make the most impact on the firm.  The area you choose could be one of the following:

  1. Speed
  2. Quality
  3. Production
  4. Design
  5. Creativity
  6. Cost reduction
  7. Client acquisition or retention
  8. Customer Service
  9. Technology Refresh
  10. Standardization

The list could go on, but the point is that you sometimes need to focus on one area over another.  You can jettison or ward off tasks that do not support your focus.

Getting practical it may look like this.

I have chosen to focus this years budget on software refresh.  My firm spent a great deal on hardware over the last few years so we are at a good point to slide into a short maintenance mode as it relates to network, server, back of house data management and such.  I will be focused on software for a while.  I am going through the process of software inventory, defining appropriate software needs, updating software, getting software on support contracts, etc.  I let everyone know that it is my short term goal for a season and my energy will be spent on that effort. 

I am not letting the other areas flounder.  Far from it.  I need to support the firm in all of these areas, but I am deflecting or postponing some initiatives to focus on the software issues.  That is my area of attention.  My area of improvement.  When I get to a point where I feel that the improvements are in place, I will shift to another area of effort.

So by focusing my efforts I can make great progress and not just respond to other peoples agendas because I have my own.