Focus and The Kitchen Floor

I went into the office late today because Malka had been waking up and I wanted to give my wife a chance to get a little extra sleep before a long day of juggling the kids. Both were sleeping and I decided that since I was going to get into the office late and I was already in the kitchen sipping on a cup of coffee, I might as well sit down and write in my journal — something I enjoy doing during the week.

I started writing and before I knew it, I was almost finished. Chaim woke up and came out to see me sitting on the ground writing and he wasted no time in telling me something that had his interest at the time. I am a bit surprised he did not ask me at all why I was at home and not at work, and why I was sitting on the floor and not standing or sitting in a chair elsewhere.

I sent him off to use the facilities because at his age he still needs to be reminded to do things like use the facilities in the morning and in the evening before bed. I told him that I would make him breakfast when he came back and in the short time that he was away I finished writing. It occurred to me that it took me significantly less time to get the journal entry written this morning than it usually does at the office, where it can sometimes take upwards of two hours (on and off — mostly off) to get the same amount of writing done.

I looked around me and I saw cupboards and the broom and the dustpan and the garbage, but that was it — and that was it! It took me so long to get any writing done in the office because of the myriad of things around me (including my phone and computer and the messy pile of coins that just wants to be sorted somehow…) but when I was in the kitchen on the floor, I had absolutely nothing to distract me.

When you are serious about getting work done, you must be vigilant about removing and in fact eliminating as many distractions as you can. Does the thing you see help you move closer to your Push goals? Good! No? You should relocate it and dedicate a work space for yourself.

Though he has gotten a reputation for writing his famous Song of Ice and Fire novels slowly, author George R.R. Martin does have the focus thing down well. He doesn’t try to write the novel on napkins or paper towels or hotel stationary — he has the computer in his office that is meant for writing and that is all it does — no web browsers or games to get him away from his writing.

How do you focus on your important goals?

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