Women

Be wary of falling prey to distractions… They abort the birth of brilliant ideas

We live in an embarrassment of information. We are connected to everything. It’s all here. A few keystrokes away.

And the only downside is the intoxication of it.

Description: Be wary of falling prey to distractions

Be wary of falling prey to distractions

Because we can become drunk with options. Games, blogs, chats, videos, social media, gossip updates; there is no end to where we can go. Oh the places.

Two hours later we step back from the screen wondering where the two hours went. Sure, we took a lot in, but what went out?

That’s why the warrior of time must keep his sword sharp and at the ready.

To carve out and cut away the clutter. To open up a clear space for creation. For it is active creation that will produce wealth and well-being. Not information.

Even though we understand value of self-education, we know intuitively that we must, sooner or later, provide service to others. We must create something of value with our time.

Therefore, more than ever before, focus is vital.

Uninterrupted time is the portal through which we now succeed. Not the flurry of multitasking and chaos.

Devoted time.

It’s your war against interruption and distraction.

Because if you can bring gentle, sustained focuc to a task, you’ll never regret the results.

As my friend and colleague Dusan Djukich says in his marvelous book, Straight Line Leadership, we stop. We start something and then we stop. When Dusan coaches his clients his recommendation is this: stop stopping. The more space we open up for ourselves the more problems we solve. The faster we achieve our goals. The great philosopher Voltaire observed, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

Description: Devoted time. It’s your war against interruption and distraction.

Devoted time. It’s your war against interruption and distraction.

The key word in Voltaire’s observation is “sustained.” We don’t sustain, we don’t take long, thoughtful, sustained walks. We don’t sit quietly in space and solitude until a problem disappears [which it would] because we are too busy.

Or, we think we are. Same thing.

We think we’re busy, especially today, with the way our “phones” hook us up to the whole nagging planet. We are so connected now! We never have to be alone again!

This is good?

In most ways, it is. It’s fun and exciting when I sit in my Arizona office and get urgent text from a client in Scotland. The phone beeps and I grab it and check it.

Description: Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered what would have happened if you hadn’t stopped?

Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered what would have happened if you hadn’t stopped?

But what happens when I do that? I interrupt my meditative train of thought and it might have been a train that was taking me to a HUGE breakthrough solution to a major challenge. Beep, beep, beep! And I stop. I am on to something beautiful if only I would continue, but I stop.

Are you a good piano player? No? But you took lessons, once, didn’t you? Yes? What happened?

“I stooped.”

Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered what would have happened if you hadn’t stopped? Piano, a foreign language, studying a certain subject, a distant love, anything.

Management and efficiency studies in the work place tell us that one hour of uninterrupted time is worth three hours of time that is constantly interrupted.

Or, as the old saying says, winners focus, losers spray.

So the warrior element in how you relate to time is how “violent” a swordsman you are going to be before your day begins. How much uninterrupted time will you carve out for yourself? Will you be a true time warrior?

Because if you will, you’ll love your timeless time. You’ll be amazed at what you can create when time is not an issue.

The self-employed warrior

When we’re newly out on our own, freshly self-employed, only answering to ourselves, it’s usually a shock to the system. Because when we worked for other people, we let them rule the day. We’d show up and go where they wanted us to go. They would manage us, and then we would reluctantly do good work inside that structure, but now that we are off on our own, the challenge is different. Because we don’t know what to do. And creative people need some kind of structure. That is, if they are going to have productive days.

Description: The self-employed warrior
The self-employed warrior

When i write a book without schedule, it is really a nightmare, and it doesn’t get done right, and i end up at the end of the deadline working overtime. In the end, it’s not good work, and it’s not creative writing.

Paradoxically, the best creative comes from working with the most structure you can possibly impose on yourself.

Any thing you can do to schedule yourself increases creative output. You think it would take away your spontaneity, but it really doesn’t. It’s amazing how well an artificial structure works. Forcing the action. It works in all aspects of life. I don’t feel like going to this meeting … I don’t feel like going to this family gathering… I dread it. And then I get there and I have the time of my life.

So now I just do it. Because it’s on this structure I call a calendar.

What do I feel like doing right now? That is the worst question I could ever ask myself during my workday.

On a weekend that’s a fine question. “What do I feel like doing? I’ll watch a little baseball I’ll play the guitar.” That’s fine, but in my workday, the feeling questions are: “What do I want to produce?” and “What structure would guarantee that?”

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