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You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.
-- Pearl S. Buck


Monday, May 6, 1996


It is such a fast-paced world. There are so many distracting thing. How do you concentrate? Here are some suggestions:

Maintain a clutter-free environment. When you have papers, magazines, file folders and other things scattered around, they attract your attention away from what you need to be working on. Put everything away in a file cabinet and get out only the things you need for the work you’re doing. When you’re finished with that, file it away and get out the next project.

Eliminate sound pollution. Whether you’re in a busy office or a home office, there are always sounds that can distract you. Find a way to eliminate them. I find music to be very effective. It needs to be music that won’t interrupt your thought. For me, that means instrumental music. Listen with a pair of headphones and you can create your own distraction-free aural environment.

Control the telephone, don’t let it control you. Use voice mail or an answering machine to answer your phone while you’re concentrating. Schedule a certain time during the day when you’ll be available for calls. At all other times, give callers a way to leave messages.

Work on one thing at a time. Keep working until you’re finished, and then go on to the next thing. Don’t try to juggle several tasks at once.

Be polite but firm about interruptions. If someone drops by to chat, politely let them know that you’re busy and arrange to get together with them later.

Work when you work, relax when you relax, play when you play. Don’t do anything halfway. Don’t try to watch TV while catching up on some work. Don’t try to eat lunch while writing a report. Make time for the relaxation and fun, so you won’t get burned out. When you really work during work time, you won’t feel like you should be working all the time.

If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll never get anything done. Make a commitment to focused concentration, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.