You know, for the longest time I was baffled.
I had always, ALWAYS been rather superb at focusing on whatever I wanted to do or achieve.
Right from pre-school times, whatever. Not a problem in the slightest.
This always served me very well, because I could absorb information very easily and as a result didn’t have to study very much. Up to a point, of course.
And later in my working life, my ability to focus, absorb and create easily served me very well indeed.
However… there was something related, something important I had yet to learn. And boy, was I about to.
At the point my career turned to consulting, I hadn’t yet learned the important skill of saying ‘NO’.
So what happened was, at the most hectic point I had 17 clients at the same time. SEVENTEEN!
If you haven’t done consulting yourself, I should say that each client you agree to take on will typically require a good deal of attention. Just a fact of life.
Some need more attention in the beginning, and some more as the relationship matures. And some are bound to be one-offs, of course.
Juggling 17 different clients simultaneously proved to be the challenge that finally broke the camel’s back as the saying goes.
I just couldn’t focus on one at a time, with always something like 5 to 6 different clients with their various demands on my mind.
Yeah no, that won’t work for productivity. At all. 🙂
Eventually I realized my problem was NOT a lack of focus. After all, focus had always been my forté.
No, the problem was not shutting out everything else 100% while focusing on That One Thing.
You might think that’s a mere semantic difference, but I guarantee you it’s not.
Aside from myself, I constantly run into entrepreneurs and high achieving professionals who are completely stressed mostly because they haven’t learned to shut out what doesn’t matter right this second.
Even if those things do matter, shut them out anyway.
You may be POSITIVE that something will explode as a result, but that’s highly unlikely.
If your clients and other concerns are actually important, they WILL wait. I dare you to find out if that’s so.
You won’t believe the amount of blissful happiness it gives you to shut down all those intrusions, trusting that nothing bad will happen as a result.
As a matter of fact, most of my really good work days now come from shutting down everything and focusing on a single solitary project.
And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING.
Unplug everything but the computer in the room.
Tuck away the day’s newspapers.
Even unplug the internet unless you actually need it to complete your task.
Lock the door if you have to.
NOW you’re ready for a productive day you’ll love for its results.
I promise, those distractions can wait. You’ll live to tell the story.