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Focus Erosion Happens Subtly

focus May 25, 2020

It’s amazing we don’t bump into more things…
Working out isn’t hard once you get started. 95% of the challenge is getting started: changing into workout clothes, driving to the gym or playing the video, and doing the first 30 seconds of exercise. After that, it’s a downhill slide to completion. And it’s the same way with maintaining focus and making progress – the hardest part is getting started.

It goes something like this: “Okay, it’s time to create some training for this new course…let’s see…” And suddenly the effects begin popping like the old Batman series

BOOM: text message – “bing!” oh – what’s this now?

WHAM: …just going to click through my inboxes real quick before I start.

SMACK: Grabbing a cup of coffee first…

SLAM: Oh! I forgot to add those vitamins to my Amazon cart.

Before long, 40 minutes have passed, there’s only 20 minutes left until my first meeting of the day and the only thing that’s been done is a few replies on Twitter and a new batch of vitamins will be arriving later that afternoon.

So what’s a guy to do? It’s age old advice, but worth repeating before I start another day:

Eliminate the distractions – turn off alerts and close any application that’s not directly related to what I need to do.

Clear off my desk – DON’T start an office cleaning project; if clutter is there, simply relocate it somewhere that’s NOT there.

Set a timer – minimum one hour for any significant progress.

Expect a 15 minute battle – the first 15 minutes are always the most difficult; thoughts often go astray. Engage and re-engage in my focused activity.
That last point is why the distractions are so devastating. If I do allow myself to engage in something beyond my focus, the 15 minute “penalty timer” of regaining focus begins yet again.

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