The power of a magnifying glass comes from focusing the energy of rays of sunshine. The power of WORK comes from focusing one’s energies on high-value tasks and responsibilities. But to do so, you must learn to reject, to say “No” to low-value assignments.

Focus can create amazing results and contribute the most to the corporation…and help keep work anxiety to a minimum.  CONCENTRATION is the key to achievement. By extension, activities which divert attention from high-value tasks on your PARETO list can be the death knell come performance appraisal time. [Type Pareto in the search box.]

Focus. CONCENTRATE. Learn how to say “No”  to whatever is not on that “Pareto” list.

Avoid diversions. Avoid accepting/assigning make-work projects and activities. Be bolder, braver, and more willing to stop activities that don’t have sufficient impact. Eliminate everything you can think of that is not tied to, and important to, the accomplishment of the most important tasks and projects. Don’t even touch or think of the superfluous.

Think like an environmentalist when it comes to work efforts, work focus: REFUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE.  A note about presentations. Too many managers try to impress their colleagues by spending endless hours creating special effects and gorgeous slide shows.  Instead, use the same presentation, RECYCLE your presentations, just tweak the essential data. Don’t try to be clever and pretty…be effective.

If  you already are hostage to a number of low-value activities or assignments, try to wrap it up quickly with the least amount of time and effort, or ask your manager to abandon it or re-assign it. It won’t matter much if it is low-value. Avoid taking on future low-value work.

Master the art of saying “No” and when doing work, adhere to the 3-“R”s: Refuse it, Reduce it, Recycle it.