Staying Focused

As I’ve often said, there’s no limit on the sources from which one can learn a great lesson if you’re predisposed to observing and thinking about what it is you’re seeing.  I was reminded of this again yesterday afternoon as I was walking the dog.  Amazing what a 15 pound ball of fur can teach a guy.When we go out in the yard, the dog is focused.  She wants only to find a scent of some sort and follow it around.  Every once in a while she’ll stoop and hold her nose in the air to get a sense of what’s going on around her, but most of the time she cares only about finding a place to…um…relieve herself or about conning me or my wife into giving her food.   There are no distractions.

What a great reminder! The amount of information thrown at us each day, combined with phone calls, emails, visits across the cube wall, etc. provides nothing BUT distractions.  How are we getting anything done?

I was lucky in my last few jobs to have someone who delighted in keeping me on task.  My only concern was when she became distracted and brought both of us to a grinding halt!  But you get my point – each of us needs to ask ourselves if we’re on task.  Is what we’re doing getting us to where we need to be today?  I was notorious for letting someone wandering into my office for a few minutes result in my spending two hours following up what they said, which inevitably led to three other things that needed doing.  Meanwhile, the ONE thing I had to get done lingered and my stress level went up as I realized how far behind I was.

If you’ve read this blog before you know how much I advocate intellectual curiosity and new ideas.  Those great traits need to be combined with an ability to focus and stay on task or you’ll find yourself smarter but lost.

And now that I’ve taken your focus off your work, leave a comment, enjoy the rest of the day, and think of the single-mindedness of your dog as you get back to it.

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