Beware! Distractions Ahead

It’s a small word. When you have it, you can do big things.

F-O-C-U-S

Focus helps make you better at whatever it is that your attention and energy are being directed to. It helps you prioritize the things that will help your efficiency, effectiveness and allow you to deliver more value to the people you serve. It allows you to ignore shiny objects, raised hands and chimes, buzzers and blinking lights that seek to divert your attention.

When you have it though, it can be very draining. Think back to the last time you really focused intently on a task. Maybe it was a round of golf where you really stayed “in the zone” all 18 holes, a workout session where you really pushed your body to extremes or perhaps it was a time you blocked out your morning and spent a solid hour on business development activities.

Do you remember how exhausted you were when you were done?

Do Your Distractions Hurt You?

Last night, I lost focus. I became distracted.

I had just helped coach my son Ryan’s double-header baseball game. Little league games with 9 and 10-year-olds are the ultimate battle of “Focus vs. Distraction.” Keeping the kids engaged for one inning is hard enough, let alone two games on a warm Friday night.

After we had wrapped up the night-cap with a tough loss, the kids packed up their gear and headed to the cars. It was almost 10:30pm so most of the boys were close to or past their normal bedtime. Ryan decided to ride home with my wife and daughter (who had driven separately because they didn’t want to be at the field 45 minutes early) so I gathered up the equipment and loaded up my car. I said goodbye to a few of our kid’s parents, gave a few “atta boys” to some of my players and started up the car.

As I left the park, I allowed myself to lose focus for a split second and was involved in a rear end collision with the truck in front of me when they stopped to let  a family heading to the parking lot to cross the street. I wasn’t texting or fiddling with the radio. I think I was just looking at the people headed to their cars and then… “Wham!”

Luckily no one was injured and the driver and passengers in the truck were very kind and accepting of my apology. I clearly didn’t intend to hit their vehicle and they knew that. We called the police and awaited their arrival to fill out the report. We chatted and watched the fields empty out. The parking lot was now empty and the field lights had been extinguished. It was Friday night nearing midnight now and my loss of focus was causing 4 people to spend almost 90 minutes waiting for the officers to arrive.

I’m sure that my “getting distracted” will cause me to lose more time (and money) when I need to bring my car in for estimates and the eventual repairs it will need. I was reminded last night of the power of focus…or the penalty that can occur when you lose it.

Laser Focus, Peripheral Vision and Blind Spots

What helps you focus?

Where do you find the best ROI on your time?

How do you decide what (and who) will get your attention and energy each day?

What should you be looking at and maybe even more importantly, what should you be ignoring?

As you look at your typical day, what is in front of you, what is off to the sides and what might be hidden just out of your view?

Clear Eyes. Full Heart. Can’t Lose

There’s a reason the windshield is twice as big as the side windows and almost 20x bigger than the rear view mirror. We have so much more control over what we see in front of us.

As always, build relationships, solve problems and have fun.

Oh yeah…and drive safely.

2 Responses to Beware! Distractions Ahead
  1. Haley Weaver
    June 16, 2012 | 7:49 pm

    So true…and glad no one was hurt! Focus is a tough one these days. My fiancé started using RescueTime for time accountability. More for ppl who sit at a desk all day but maybe it’ll help someone.

    • Sean
      June 16, 2012 | 8:21 pm

      Haley – Thanks for the comments. I think a tool like RescueTime is great for people who have a repeatable (or close to)occupation. Real estate just doesn’t seem to fall into that category but I will agree that if you saw where your time/focus was going now you might be able to refocus in a better direction.

      Here’s a question for you: Is it easier to focus when the real estate market is busy and hectic..or slow and depressed? I might argue that it is easier to focus in the former but easier to get distracted in the latter.

      Thanks again for stopping by Carp’s Corner