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Everywhere you look there are distractions. Just think about it:

  • All the advertising with which we’re constantly bombarded.
  • And if TV, radio, and print weren’t enough, there’s also the Internet and social media.
  • In sports, the opponent wants you to think they’re going right when they really want to go left, that they’ll throw a fastball when they’re throwing a curve, etc.
  • In politics distractions are created to take the voters’ attention off the fact nothing much constructive gets done as promised.

But nowhere are distractions more important, and annoying, to us as when they attack us on a daily basis. Years ago, I had regular breakfast meetings with a friend in a complementary business. At one point his company went virtual, he was working out of his home, and I remember him telling me how tough it was to stay away from the refrigerator.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t distractions in an office setting. Offices have refrigerators as well as coffee machines, water coolers, cubicles, and other people. Managing those distractions is what allows for productivity increases, especially when we don’t let them get in the way of what’s important (see my memo on the book Rest and how humans are “wired” to be super-productive four hours a day).

I see how distractions get in the way of my clients and other business owners. It takes a lot of focus to not let them get in the way. In the buy-sell world, I have to make sure my clients don’t get off on tangents not important to the deal. Those tangents are alluring because they’re “fun.” Or shall I say stress relief from what really needs to be done.

It can be very beneficial to close your email program, turn off your phone, close the door, and get the important things done.g

“Don’t let the dog bite you twice.” Chuck Berry

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