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Trap 1: Tunnel vision

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Trap 1: Tunnel vision

What’s the Trap?

In the midst of a packed schedule and back-to-back meetings, leaders often fall into the trap of simply crossing items off of their to-do list. While this may sound like a systematic approach to getting things done efficiently, it also prevents them from taking the necessary time for strategic development, goal and vision setting, and even personal development. They are so neck-deep working on the day-to-day of their business that they fail to lift their heads and see the bigger picture. On a personal level, while this way of life appears to be ‘efficient’, what we notice is a level of numbness and disconnection that tends to settle in. Emotional and strategic acuity is dulled and the focus is retargeted to tasks over relationships, experiences, or growth. Leaders in this state of being often report that they feel like life is just passing them by and that their main responsibility winds up being just keeping up.

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What’s the Impact: At Work?

What’s the Impact: At Home?



Aaron is a highly driven entrepreneur who runs a software company out of Buffalo, NY. He has 3 young children and an incredibly supportive wife. When he came to coaching he was consumed with his task list and was interested in learning ways to increase his efficiency. He wanted to figure out how to get more done in less time. His phone never left his side. He kept it with him when he ate, when he watched his boys play soccer, when he drove, and when he slept. His wife often complained that he wasn’t a good listener and that he was always distracted. His kids often acted out and his reaction was to punish them by taking away their computer privileges. He shared the pressure he felt to be successful, and made sure that he always had enough cash flow to cover his expenses. He expressed that he felt like he woke up morning after morning to face the same day. He did not understand why he wasn’t further ahead given all the effort and hard work he was putting in.

What's the Solution?

Journaling has proven to be an extremely powerful way for leaders to focus on themselves each day – helping them to manage their emotional state, stay on task, and keep sight of their vision. Among many notable advantages, journaling can be a very effective way to plan, problem solve, and make critical decisions using a visual medium to gain perspective. Time after time, we’ve heard leaders say they deal with a barrage of information that they have to sift through each day. They are tasked with making decisions that require a clear and expansive mind. Journaling is an easy way to collect thoughts, assess options and consider all of the information available, in order to be able to come up with a clear-headed and logical decision. Once Aaron began journaling with his coach, he quickly realized how his habits were negatively affecting his ability to grow his business and his ability to have meaningful relationships at home. He discovered how much he was missing out, and how his tunnel vision was preventing him from reaching his goals.

Leaders who practice journaling often attest to how well it helps them work through challenges that arise, explore untapped ideas, set personal and professional goals, and refocus on future objectives.

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