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Be conscious about your actions / behavior

The basic principle is simple: be conscious about what you do, or do not do.

To put it differently:  Think and be aware of what you are doing.  Do not just bumble along in an unconscious manner.  It is important to be aware (conscious) about the actions that you are currently performing.  If I know exactly what I am doing at this moment, then I am managing not only the present, but also my future.  It is important for my current actions to contribute to me meeting my goals.

If you want to switch off and relax, go do that. However if you are not relaxing, be conscious about what you are doing, what you are meant to be doing and what others are expecting you to be doing.  When you do things with a purpose, it bring a level focus that otherwise might not be there.

So let’s look at some examples of how to implement this behavior.

  • When you have a list full of tasks.  Be conscious of what tasks will help meet your goals and that not all the tasks are equal.  Some of them demand a higher level of diligence while others just need to be good enough.
  • Do you approach your important meetings with a purpose and an agenda?  Be conscious about what you need to get from the meeting.  Now with remember these goals, be clear about how you are communicating your points and how they are being received.  Be conscious about what the other peoples needs are.  Soliciting feedback and input from the other person is always a good tactic.
  • Now let’s look at soft skills and being conscious of the other people’s behaviors and reactions in various situations.  Being conscious of other people and your environment starts with being conscious of yourself first.  When you sit down in a chair, be aware of how your back feels against the back of the chair.  It sounds crazy but this awareness of your body and the chair will help.
  • For those of us that attend a lot of meetings:  Evaluate each meeting to determine why you need to attend that specific meeting.  Although I am cognizant that I might be fighting the culture of some companies, I believe that meetings are not the place for status updates.  A far more efficient mechanism is to use a simple, concise and clear emails.  If you have a good reason to attend meeting, define what you are going to achieve at that meeting.  If you are running the meeting, then define an agenda that ensures that the goals are met and finish the meeting early by keeping people on topic.

Key points of this post:

  • Whatever you do, perform the action with purpose and be conscious about your actions.
  • Ensure that your actions contribute to your goals.
  • Be conscious of the expectations of others.

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