Managing Distractions

One of the really helpful sections to me in "Making Ideas Happen," the book I revealed on Monday, is a section about managing distractions. I tend to be about as easily distracted as my two-year-old when it comes to getting stuff done at work.

Here's what Belsky says:

"When it comes to staying focused, you must be your own personal Madison Avenue advertising agency. The same techniques that draw your attention to billboards on the highway or commercials on television can help you become more (or less) engaged by a project. When you have a project that is tracked by a beautiful chart or an elegant sketchbook, you are more likely to focus on it. Use your workspace to induce attention where you need it most. You ultimately want to make yourself feel compelled to take action on the tasks pending, just as a marketer makes you feel compelled to buy something."

Environment really can be everything when it comes to being focused. I've learned to limit the things that are in the sight-line of my workspace. If I keep Post-it notes or unread books where I see them while I'm trying to work; or if I keep multiple windows open on my desktop, I'm guaranteed to accomplish nothing.

Belsky is right: focus has to be won. If I'm not intentional about my environment, the project is doomed before it begins.