Every day we have too many options. However, the more you focus your time, the clearer you see the masses against you.
There are the urgent tasks and requests screaming at you for attention.
There are the family and health requirements that you want to do to experience love, joy, and good health.
There are friends who struggle to find time in your calendar for fun and laughter.
There are projects and tasks to improve something in your career, team, and/or organization.
And then... there is your ONE Thing, that special opportunity to accomplish something to make everything else easier or unnecessary.
Yet, this activity gets pushed aside most easily.
(warning: spoiler alert!)
The photo above is Aragorn, the man who would be king of Gondor, in the final episode of the movie trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. He is making a final stand against the army of Mordor, a foul horde of orcs and goblins and trolls.
Aragorn and his allies have fought long and hard over many months against the evil that seeks to keep them from living a long, fulfilling life.
Are you in a similar battle, consciously or subconsciously?
Is your schedule overflowing, yet unfulfilling?
Are too many days lost to fighting fires, rather than building something meaningful that lasts?
Are you driven by past wounds to prove yourself or somehow compensate for one of your mistakes?
These are some of your "orcs". These are the challenges, put in front of you by yourself or others, consciously or subconsciously for one purpose: To destroy you.
How do you fight your orcs?
Aragorn leads his allies into battle against insurmountable odds. There are tens of thousands of orcs, yet only a few thousand men with him.
Not exactly stacking the odds in his favor, eh? Sometimes leaders have to make tough decisions.
In this case, Aragorn is trying to distract the army of Mordor while Frodo and Sam climb Mount Doom in an attempt to destroy the One Ring.
But let's assume that Aragorn is not trying to become the poster child for suicide missions.
How could he possibly win a battle against such odds?
Notice one thing: Aragorn and his men can only fight one orc at a time. Yes, he may slash two with his sword, moving in an arc from one to the other. However, his focus has to be on what is in front of him.
One at a time. One foe must be down before he can move on to another.
So it is with you, as a leader. (If you are breathing, you are a leader). The challenges you face cannot be tackled successfully all at once. You must focus on one domino at a time.
Try this approach:
- Pause at a time when there are no distractions from people, email, etc.
- Focus this daily time in brief Sanctuary - confirm you are focusing on the most urgent task
- Make it a habit by scheduling regular time in your calendar to reflect, evaluate, and focus
Pretty soon you will find that Sanctuary is a longer look at your battlefield, and a boon for your productivity. Are you heading in the right direction? Are you pursuing the "flag" you really need to capture, or are you chasing an illusion of achievement that is actually less important?
To win your daily battle against your unique army of orcs, it takes focus, commitment, and comprehension of what is truly most important.