I’m sitting here in a coffee shop trying to concentrate on writing my upcoming book called “Attention!”. In fact, I’ve been sitting here for almost two hours now, and I’ve probably written about 100 words.
It occurs to me that despite my best attempts to focus on writing this book, I’m not getting it done as fast as I thought I would. Why? Well, probably a bunch of reasons.
1. The Deadline Isn’t Close Enough
Classic excuse eh? Are you like me and you are able to “perform” better when you’re on the spot? When you KNOW you MUST get it done? For example, when I’m on stage, I KNOW I have to bring it, so I do. Or when I’m about to have an important phone call with a client and I have things due to them, I KNOW I have to get it done. This book manuscript isn’t due until Jan. 15, 2010.
Now I know better than this. I KNOW that it will be a HUGE mistake to not have it close to being done before Christmas. I KNOW that I don’t want to be sitting in a closed room for 2-weeks prior to the deadline frantically writing and stressing out. Yet, here I am, not focusing, instead writing this blog post.
2. Social Media
I have Tweetdeck up and running on my other monitor all day long. I look at it probably every minute or more. It’s a HUGE distraction to me. Fortunately, I’ve closed it here, ok, I lied, it’s open, but I’m closing it as soon as I get done with this blog post.
The point is, social media is a distraction. We’re all so, ok, maybe just me, dependant now on knowing what everyone else is up to. Where they’re getting coffee at and how they’re partying in Vegas. It’s a good thing, to be vested in the lives of our friends and associates. But it’s a HUGE distraction for sure.
This is worse than social media. I’m an email guy. My business revolves around email. All day, all night. On my phone, on my Mac. Wherever. Email rules me. It owns me. I know I should shut down Gmail and I’d get more done, but it’s oh so hard to do.
I’m interested in how you find ways to focus on goals? How do you get things done? For me, I’m a burst worker. That means that I go for long periods of time meandering around in my head and online plotting and thinking and formulating what needs to be done. Then, when it’s all cooked up in my head, I go, go, go… and produce a very large amount of high-quality work in a short, bursted, period of time.
My friend John Ettorre pointed out to me once that many famous people were burst workers. Einstein for example. Whew, so I’m like Einstein I guess? I wonder if he can come by this coffee shop and help me write this book.