Focus and meaning

Feeling a bit scattered and overwhelmed at work recently, I created a mind map of my activities. The map showed what I suspected: I take wide aim at too many projects, making it difficult to go deep into any of them.

As I work on fixing this, I find that eliminating activities is not the only solution available. Instead, I can re-focus each activity towards a single goal. Doing so immediately suggests different ways to approach and execute the activities. I now feel that more of what I do is making a greater impact towards a worthy goal.

Perhaps there is a lesson here for the business leader who feels that running her business leaves not time to address culture. She can look at everything she does and ask herself: “If each activity’s goal was to improve the culture, what would it look like? What changes would I have to make?”

Then, suddenly, there is new meaning to the work.

Or, I should say, the work is now more meaningful.

2 thoughts on “Focus and meaning

  1. How did you address the “overwhelmed” feeling on your E&C projects? How did you zero in?

    Loved this post!

    Thanks, AP


    Ana-Paola (AP) Capaldo
    Director, Ethics & Compliance Officer
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    1. Good to hear from you AP!

      It’s still a work in progress. However, what I have done is use the mind map tool to funnel 80% of my activities through a single node, specifically ECO support. This means that I re-frame everything I do by asking myself if this is adding value to the 500 ECOs that I support. In addition, and perhaps even more importantly, I ask myself if this activity is having a positive impact on the entire organization’s culture. So, without necessarily reducing how much I’m doing, I find energy in the dual-purpose of each activity.

      Being overwhelmed, for me, if often just a result of not thinking clearly about what I’m doing.

      Hope this helps,



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