Much of our success (or failure) depends heavily on our ability to block out distractions and focus on the task at hand. Many of the daily tasks and projects we have on our dockets suffer because we either consciously or unconsciously allow external situations that are at the time outside of our control take the focus away from what we are doing now. Hey, I’m not just preaching here. I am very guilty of it myself at times and my daily productivity and long-range goals take a hit as a result.
I’m no therapist, so I don’t necessarily know the right answer. Maybe the solution is different for every person. But I know that those who get an incredible amount of things done within any given time span have a way of shutting out peripheral thoughts of situations that are of low priority at the moment. The best example I can think of is the year Kobe Bryant was on trial. When he hit the hardwood, nothing else existed except the game. To mot people, it would have been a huge distraction that affected every aspect of his game. But in an interview later that season, he commented on his ability to “compartmentalize” his thoughts and focus on the task at hand. It is what I believe a renaissance man such as Benjamin Franklin must have been able to do to accomplish as much as he did (and he didn’t even have a computer or Smartphone to help him!).
One of my goals this year is to research strategies that help to focus and block outside thoughts to achieve maximum effectiveness. If I find any good reading materials that work, I’ll be sure to pass it along.
William Mitchell, CPRW
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