The main task of a leader should be to direct attention. In order to do this, I had to learn how to focus my own attention. When speaking about being focused, we tend to mean thinking about one specific thing whilst filtering out everything else.

I learned to take control of my ability to focus and block out distractions – mostly my inbox – to enable myself to perform and be both effective and efficient in my work. In my experience the biggest distraction is my inbox. I only check my new messages when I have the time to do so, albeit often to other people’s frustration as some expect immediate replies. The result: better quality work, more success, and achievement of your professional goals.

To summarize, as a focused leader I am in tune with how I feel, understand how other people see me, can manage their impulses, can tune out distractions and comprehend what other people need from me. This can be quite difficult at times – not in the least for others to understand that I’m not focusing on my inbox around the clock – and takes determination. But it pays of, because I simply get much more work done than when I’m constantly managing my inbox.