Distractions are everywhere. Yesterday it was cancelled flights, new airports, missed meetings and a stranded car. Today it will be work itself – rearranging things on a list to catch up from time missed. Add to that the expense reports, airline credit forms and chasing small details and I can already feel the day getting away from me. Have I had too much coffee? Yes.
Managing the distractions to maintain focus is always the goal. I’m a dreamer and struggle with the focus every day. I have to create and maintain the vision of my outcome to keep me energized through the day – most of the time it’s easy. Using an analogy works for me because it’s a way to re-frame the circumstances into something I can see will be successful. Take a look at this simple explanation published in The Psychological Record, written by Michael Boerger and Tracy Henley:
By drawing attention to similarities between some new piece of information and information that has been stored previously, they provide a framework for recognizing and understanding the new information more easily.
Changing and aligning a framework is a skill leaders develop over time. I’ve done this for several years in a wide range of contexts and it does provide that simple positive result. People accept and implement change when they have a framework that’s compatible with their method to learn and grow.
I manage my distractions in the same way a driver navigates heavy traffic on the highway: analyze risk and compare to goals, then take action and repeat. How do you manage your distractions?