I was riding my motorbike on the weekend and one of the aspects of riding that I like, is the total concentration required to stay out of trouble. The biker needs to not only be very aware of the bike and its surroundings, but also be vigilant for potential mistakes by other road users.
The car ahead of me was erratic in its road positioning, so I slowed down and gave it some extra room. It drifted onto the shoulder a little and I could see the driver doing something, other than driving. Fiddling with something on the dash and talking to the passenger. This carried on for a little while before I turned off onto another road.
This is NOT uncommon. I see it every day. People get distracted by their phones, their passengers, their radio or any number of other things.
At times like this I want to repeat my dad’s philosophy of driving, which he shared with me as often as he could. “Nothing else matters. When you are driving, do not be distracted by other people in the car, day dreaming or anything else. Stay alert and focused on what you are doing!”
Good advice, and many years ahead of the introduction of cellular technology, smart phones and any other technology distraction that modern day drivers utilize.
“Your results are the product of either personal focus or personal distractions. The choice is yours.” John Di Lemme
The advice goes well beyond just driving a car. There a whole host of reasons why a lack of focus will impact you in your job. Here are just 10 of them:
- If you are distracted from your primary task, then you are not going to perform at your best.
- If you focus on something else, then you might miss something critical related to your primary task.
- If distracted you may not actually do your job, the way it is supposed to be done.
- Distractions will undermine your credibility.
- Lack of focus will leave you unhappy with your own performance.
- The impact of not being focused on your job may mean that you disappoint a colleague.
- Even worse you might disappoint a client.
- Almost certainly the resultant lack of performance will mean you disappoint your boss.
- Your lowered productivity may mean you need to work more hours to get your work done.
- If cuts are needed it will often be the least productive that go first.
“Work is hard, distractions are plentiful and time is short.” Adam Hochschild.
You are at your most productive when you are totally focused on the task at hand, not distracted by anything around you and able to give your full attention to completing your work.
Alternatively, trying to be productive is difficult while flitting between web sites to check the news, the weather, your stocks and the latest sports results. It is also difficult to work when people wander into your office and interrupt while you are in the middle of writing a report, working on a spreadsheet or laying out a plan.
Focus when driving is critical, because the alternative can kill people.
Focus at work should be critical for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly if you want to be your best.
“Always remember your focus determines your reality.” George Lucas
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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