Have you ever started typing only to find out that your cursor was not where you thought it was? What you intended to input ends up in the wrong place instead of where you wanted it to be or not on the page at all. It’s frustrating, counter-productive, and a waste of time. That’s how your year could end up if you don’t properly align your focus where it needs to be right now. Many people enter into a new year, but there’s really nothing new about them. The activities are the same. The mindset is the same. They are the same. How can you have a happy “new” year, when everything about you is the same as it was last year? This can be a new and better year for you. It will be for me, and here’s one of the reasons why.

For some time now, I have as a personal goal to never stay in the same place for more than twenty-four hours. That means I am constantly assessing what I’m doing and looking for new ways I can develop and improve myself. This goal encompasses many things, but for me, it must always include my one thing. My one thing is the thing that defines me. It’s what I’m known for and what I want to be known for; it’s what I’m gifted to do, and it’s what I love to do. My one thing is what I focus on developing and becoming skillful in. Here are two things that help me to accomplish this.

Eliminate time wasters. Time wasters for me are those things that consume my time but leave me unimproved. Time wasters may be in the form of persons, places, things or activities. Some time wasters may provide temporary satisfaction or interest. Ultimately, they rob me of the premier commodity of precious time that could be used to do something more meaningful and valuable. If you want to make this year count, be aware of time wasters and be intentional about flushing out everything and anyone that blocks the flow of your productivity and forward progress.

Focus on one thing. Many of us have bought into the idea of multi-tasking. In reality, what is thought of as multi-tasking is more accurately multi-switching, constantly prioritizing and re-prioritizing from one moment to the next. I am most effective when I focus on one thing until that thing is accomplished or at least until I’ve made some considerable progress. One of the marks of highly successful people is that they are intentional about making every minute count.  That requires focus. If you want to do something well, it has to become your focus.

Let this year be the year of your “one thing.” Review the time wasters that plagued you last year and systematically eliminate them. Identify something that you can do, something you love that can be developed into a valuable skill and focus on it daily, even just a little bit. If you do, you will soon find yourself considerably further ahead of where you were last year. You will stand out from the mediocre, you will be productive, and you will truly have a happy new year!

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