As a photographer, I can work with the aperture settings of my camera to influence the depth of field in a photo. With a large aperture I choose to make the foreground crystal clear and sharp, while the background can be blurry and hardly recognizable. The background is still there and not disturbing the picture; the viewer’s attention is immediately drawn to the in-focus foreground.

The aperture settings in a photo act like a kind of filter. As a photographer, I am making a clear choice: what to focus on and what to leave out of the picture.

In your daily work environment you also have a wide array of details available. Attractive details, important details, disturbing details, annoying details… All kind of details that can influence your effectiveness in work.

Like with photography, also in your daily work you can filter by applying a proverbial aperture. When you don’t filter, you will have lots of details that influence your effectiveness. If you do filter, you are making a conscious choice about your focal point. The other elements will still be there and will not be disturbing your focus; you choose what to focus on.

Focus in your work is most importantly a matter of choosing what not to do and thus what not to pay attention to. For some, setting this filter will be difficult. If it is for you, then consider working with a sparring partner. This can be a colleague, a friend, a coach or an alliance mentor. Whomever you choose, ensure that they will take their role serious and also hold you accountable. 

Then it will lead to results. After all: where focus goes, energy flows!