Focus on the Task

Focus on the Task Posted By:
...

Effective leaders, in any space, have the ability to successfully modulate their emotions as part of self-regulation. This allows for the selective filtering of distractions or "noise," providing the intellectual space needed to focus solely on the task in front of them. This is a skill—and not one necessary for only leaders to cultivate. Rather, it is an essential skill for all of us to develop whether we are leading others or managing ourselves at work or outside of work.

Our minds work hard for us—synthesizing and managing inputs and outputs and attaching various emotions to them (or not) on a continuous basis. And our emotions affect our performance. But there is a difference between ignoring our emotions and working with them—and it is the recognition of this difference that underlies our success in how well we can self-regulate to focus on whatever task is before us.

In their classic article, "Emotional Agility," Susan David and Christina Congleton remind us how excessive internal dialogue can "...sap important cognitive resources that could be put to better use." Rather than giving into or suppressing the internal dialogue, they instead recommend taking a more mindful approach that involves recognition of patterns, assigning labels, acceptance, and acting in alignment with our values.

I have personally found going through these steps in a disciplined fashion makes all the difference and typically start off with the question, "What will it take to keep X moving forward?" Recognition of thought patterns and emotions around X can be incredibly insightful—and this leads to the next step recommended by David and Congleton, which is assigning labels to the thoughts. From my experience, this is particularly helpful and allows me to separate from certain thoughts and emotions when they do not serve me, thereby lifting a figurative weight from my shoulders. David and Congleton also point out the importance of accepting these thoughts and emotions. At the same time, we do need to remember these thoughts and emotions do not define us. The next step is to act intentionally in alignment with our values. This keeps us rooted to purpose and able to move forward with quiet confidence.

Successful modulation of emotions that allows us to focus on the task at hand is a skill. And, as we know, skill development takes practice (and some self-compassion in the development process is requisite). It is, however, well worth the time and effort and transcends multiple aspects of life.

References

Share

Filed under: Miscellaneous , Practice Management/Career

Related
Did You Miss National Healthcare Decisions Day?

Did You Miss National Healthcare Decisions Day?

An important day on the calendar recently passed, and I am not talking about Tax Day. April 16 is Na ...

Filed under: Miscellaneous, NPs & PAs


Continue Reading
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Our Next Great Innovation, Part II—AI’s Use in Technology and the APP Impact

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Our Next Gr ...

Most of us have heard someone invariably shout out, “Hey, Siri!” or “Alexa . . . !” These ex ...

Filed under: Health Policy and Trends, Miscellaneous


Continue Reading
Autonomy and Motivation for the Healthcare Workforce

Autonomy and Motivation for the Healthcare Workfor ...

I recently discovered the New England Journal of Medicine podcast Not Otherwise Specified. In full t ...

Filed under: Health Policy and Trends, Miscellaneous, Practice Management/Career, NPs & PAs


Continue Reading
Implicit vs Explicit Bias in Healthcare: A Crash Course

Implicit vs Explicit Bias in Healthcare: A Crash C ...

We all have it—bias, that is. It affects how we interact with others and our relationships, includ ...

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Practice Management/Career, NPs & PAs


Continue Reading
When a Window Is More Than Just Something We Look Through

When a Window Is More Than Just Something We Look ...

I am sure you have heard the phrase “window of time” applied to many different aspects of life. ...

Filed under: Miscellaneous, NPs & PAs


Continue Reading
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Our Next Great Innovation

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Our Next Gr ...

In 1935, the great British mathematician Alan Turing described a math machine that had limitless cap ...

Filed under: Health Policy and Trends, Miscellaneous, NPs & PAs


Continue Reading