Externalizing and Freeing The Mind To Be Present

Leave the first response February 5, 2009 / Posted in Mindful Business, Mindful Leadership

Dear friend, fellow runner and fellow Vistage Chair Tom Foster has a great daily blog that is a wonderful distillation of Tom’s own philosophy and that of Eliott Jaques. You can check out and subscribe to his site at: Managementblog.org. His blog today is a reminder about uncluttering the mind:

Goals Don’t Stay the Same

Thu, February 5th, 2009 by Tom Foster

Krista had a sheepish look on her face when I asked to see her list of goals for the next three months.

“I don’t really have a list,” she said. “I mean, I know what I am supposed to do. I keep it in my head.”

“Then how do you organize your list, if you don’t have it written down? How do you share your goals with other people? How do you change and update them? Most importantly, how do you make decisions about goals?”

“Well, when I started this job, my manager explained things to me. I had a job description and I signed off on it. Is that what you mean?”

“How long ago was that?” I asked.

“About two and half years ago,” she replied.

“Your customers have changed, your market has changed, technology has changed, regulations in your industry have changed, your team has changed. Do mean that your goals have NOT changed in two and half years?”

Empty your mind of all those things that need to be done or remembered!  But how?

One word: Externalize.   Not just a to-do list, it is getting those intentions on the calendar to complete the tasks, that fulfill the projects, which lead to the success of reaching one’s goals. I am only allowed 3 or 4 calendared intentions a week to get me to complete the project.

For the past year I’ve been clearing my mind around all the tasks, projects and goals that I set for myself consciously or unconsciously.  One of the people who helped Vistage a few years ago is Mike Salomon of Sherpa Performance Guides.  He has been a help in getting me away from the Tyranny of the In-Box be it what’s on my desk or what’s in my email In-Box.  Check out this map of their mindware/software to see what you can do to assist yourself if you don’t have a Mike Salomon to guide you.

With all the internalized things we keep in our brain to remember, there becomes less and less space for one to be mindful.  As mentioned numerous time: my breath is my focus to bring me back to here and now.  For beginners, taking even 5 minutes to sit and just observe or be aware is a great beginning.< >

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