One of my gifts is the gift of tunnel vision. I am able to focus very closely on a problem or a task for extended period of time, and ignore most distractions. This is my preferred way of working. (Honestly, I sometimes wonder if I’m not mildly autistic.)
The problem, of course, is that I work with people. I am the president of an organization, and in the course of a normal day have any number of people coming to my office asking me questions that only I can answer. This makes it very difficult to work with tunnel vision.
So: time for me to confess my sins.
I was reading an excellent article this morning that suggests ways to have more productive meetings. One of the suggestions was that you go into every meeting with a very clear sense of what you want to accomplish. Whose needs must be met in this meeting? What are those needs?
As I thought and prayed about that, as part of praying over my schedule and tasks for the week, I realized that my main goal for many of the meetings I have is NOT to meet the needs of the person I’m meeting with. Instead, I focus on hearing whatever the person has to say, answering their questions as quickly as possible, so that I can “get them out of my hair” and go back to what I was working on in the first place.
I need to structure my time so that I have chunks of uninterrupted “tunnel vision” time. And when there are questions for me to answer or meetings for me to be in, the needs of the people I serve & lead need to be the focus of my tunnel vision, more than whatever project I’ve been working on in isolation.