We Interrupt This Message…


“Interruptions are in the eye of the interrupted.”

This was a key point in The Attention Age Doctrine, and one that really struck a nerve with many of my readers.

Information that you think is important to your business, may simply be an interruption to your business goals.

Trouble is, you won’t realize whether or not the information is important until you’ve given it your attention.

Since the release of The Attention Age Doctrine, I’ve received countless e-mails and blog comments about the distinction between an “interruption” and a “distraction” as it relates to business efficiency. While there are “dictionary differences” between the two, I’ll just give you my quick analysis.

An interruption is external. It’s a break in continuity, something unexpected that “pops up” and causes you to divert your attention. Examples: Someone calling your name, an e-mail alert on your computer, a ringing phone, a raindrop falling on your head, a bowling bowl dropped in your lap. Interruptions grab our attention by diverting our focus.

A distraction is internal. It’s an emotional disturbance that requires our own compliance. It’s your mind thinking about lunch options while you are in an important business meeting. It’s a gaze out the window to watch the birds fly by or the feeling that you left your iron on in the laundry room. There’s an underlying cause for distractions that divides our attention in a subtle way. Distractions may seem like harmless “white noise,” but they can be quite, well, distracting.

Workplace interruptions and distractions serve one disturbing purpose: They take us off course. Every time we “follow the bouncing ball,” our business goals get pushed aside.Productivity Interruption

By taking your focus off the “big task” of what your business needs (more on this in a sec…), your vision becomes clouded, your message muddled, your decisions diluted and delayed.

What’s even worse is that it becomes a habit. You end up conditioning your brain to respond in a similar fashion in the future. In essence, you are re-wiring your brain to work against you [I’ll share the research that supports this notion, and how you can re-condition your attention, in Part 2 of the Attention Age Doctrine, coming out next month.]

Look, there’s a real reason why many racehorses run with blinders on. It’s so they’ll stay focused on the task at hand – winning.

So why is it so difficult for entrepreneurs to do the same? Why don’t we work with blinders on, avoiding interruptions so we can focus on growing our business and achieving our goals?

Maybe it’s because you love being in the race more than you love achieving the results. You enjoy the “busyness” of your business, but are unwilling to get serious about doing what it takes to succeed. You’re allowing distractions and interruptions to pull you away from your business goals.

My coaching clients often ask: How can I avoid the interruptions that are distracting me from my work?

An easy answer is to work in solitary confinement, but that has its own downside. A better answer comes from asking a better question: Why am I allowing myself to be so easily distracted?

No one makes us answer e-mails. There is no law, under penalty of death, to respond immediately to instant messages or a ringing telephone.

We can avoid interruptions and distractions if we want to do so. So why do we allow this to happen?

It’s always easier to blame an outside source for our troubles – a computer, a colleague, a PDA – rather than take that terrifying look inside ourselves to see what is lurking among the cobwebs.

Are we are our own worst enemy when it comes to distraction? Are we the cause of our own interruptions that take us off the path to success and down a spiraling path toward procrastination and diminished productivity?

Think about it for a moment. Each time you sit down in front of the computer you should do so with an ultimate goal: task completion. But getting from Point A to Point B in your business is rarely a direct line of progression – at least, that’s what you’ve been telling yourself.

The demands on our attention are infinite, but our attention is finite. So we have to keep focused on the goal of winning.

Every time we turn our attention away from our purpose – task completion – and toward something else (i.e., reading e-mail, mindlessly surfing the Web, chasing butterflies, chatting on the phone), we imperil our business goals and do our customers a great disservice.

We can choose to blame technology, our neighbors, family and friends, but really the blame is our own. It is our own refusal – note, I did not say “inability” – to eliminate the interruptions and distractions that cause frustration and prevent us from achieving ultimate success.

By allowing interruptions to sidetrack us – by giving in to the pull of distraction – we simply delay our primary gratification: the knowledge and pride in a job well done and the financial reward that comes with it.

Instead of doing what your business needs you to do, you end up doing what you want to do.

Let’s put that in perspective. You may not want to change diapers, but your children need you to do it. You may not want to pay taxes, but it’s probably a good idea to complete them on time each year. In both cases, you just have to hold your nose and get it done.

Successful entrepreneurs (in the right business) love their businesses. They shouldn’t “have to” do the job; they should “want to” do what is best for business development and ultimate reward.

This creates another immediate concern:

Do you know what your business really needs of you?

If not, all of the time you waste through “distraction” may really be the fault of your own “indecision.” You must decide what your business needs from you (in a step-by-step list of tasks) and eliminate the interruptions and distractions so you can get it done.

Two days ago I attended a networking event in Texas that will most likely go down in history as one of the biggest gatherings of influential men and women in business and marketing.  It was hosted by my good friend Stephen Pierce. Some of the powerful people in attendance were T Harv Eker, Jay Abraham, John Reese, and Jeff Walker; Tim Ferris, Armand Morin, Russell Brunson, and John Carlton; Mike Filsaime, Tom Beal, Jerry Clark, and Shawn Casey; Eben Pegan, Mike Litman, and Dave Lakhani; Janet Switzer, Yanik Silver, and Lori Morgan Ferraro.

At the event I had a great conversation with Internet Marketing legend John Reese. Besides getting some great marketing advice from him regarding our upcoming seminar in February, we also compared our approaches to getting our work done. And we both had a similar approach.

We both think about the goal we are trying to accomplish and list all the steps we need to do in order to accomplish it. Then, we get to work. John said (and I agreed) that often people get sidetracked or procrastinate because they haven’t taken the time to layout all the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals.

The list of steps helps grab and focus their attention.

Early radio and television programs used to be interrupted by breathless announcers with a familiar refrain: “We interrupt this message to bring you a special announcement…” The message grabbed your attention and wouldn’t let go until you absorbed it, at which time you were “returned to your regularly scheduled programming.”

It’s time to get clear about what you need to do, focus your attention and “get with the program” of working on what matters.

So, why are you not achieving your business goals faster?

Do you have an interruption problem, a distraction problem, or an indecision problem? (Share your thoughts on this here)

Sometimes introspection can be a painful journey of discovery, but one we all must take.

So do it right now, right here… Then get back to work!

Post a comment about this article 

71 thoughts on “We Interrupt This Message…”

  1. Great points Rich. We always do what we want to do and a successful marketer always tries to make us want to get his/her stuff – whether we really need it is not that important.

    Once we can condition ourselves (you are bang on target, we are not unable, just that we don’t try hard enough) to not get distracted by petty attractions, we can more easily stay on course and reach our target.

  2. Rich, thanks for continuing this discussion.
    (I dropped what I was working on to read it. LOL)
    Jokingly, I say it’s because I’m blond, senile and have ADHD. Distractions are a more serious problem for me than interruptions.
    Just by bring this issue to the forefront, you are doing a great service.
    Larry Foster

  3. Rich: I call this tendency “fetch” — I’ve been “following the bouncing ball” of distraction for years and it just leaves me dog tired.

    I find that avoiding the interruptions are much easier than avoiding the distractions. As you indicate, that requires an inner discipline that should come “standard” for all entrepreneurs, but I struggle with it daily.

    For a long time I enjoyed telling people that I was a “writer.” It sounded impressive and, truth be told, I had written several things as a professional. However, after a while, I realized that I was writing far less than I was promoting myself as a writer. I had the title down, but I hadn’t really earned it — financially or in terms of the work necessary to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I think many online entrepreneurs do the same. We like the “idea” of being independent internet marketers, but we’re not willing to do the work necessary to make it a reality. Your knowledge helps bridge the gap and should inspire us all.

    My interests in virtually all things sometimes eclipses my discipline for the one thing — building my business — that should be my paramount concern.

    Thanks for this dose of “blog tonic” … The medicine may not taste good, but it’s necessary for our business health.


  4. Another great heads-up. It’s true that I should be working right this minute, but reading your blog is one interruption I feel is justified. It always helps be get back in focus if I’ve started to drift.

  5. This blog is so awesome that I’m seriously thinking about putting the RSS feed directly on my site.

    I immediately want to go lay out all of the steps necessary for every single project, get to work, and just get off of everybody else’s list. I don’t even want to have to waste a single second THINKING about whether or not to read that email or take the time to hit the DELETE button.

    Alex Mandossian talks focusing the same way (I wonder why he wasn’t at that famous networking meeting in Texas?). He also talks about using a timer, putting your head down, and doing only productive, revenue-generating activity while the timer is running.

    Thank you so much for your constant reminders about what’s REALLY important in one’s business.

    Dr. Andrew Colyer

  6. I like to think that this type of interruption is more of a redirection
    back to the task of following my main goal and purpose in life.
    It was refeshing. Thank you!

  7. Interruptions at times are fine. I call them Metal Breaks. Sometimes we need to stop what we are doing just to get focused after a little break. I usually don’t read any of this, when I go to a page like this, first I look to the right and see how much space it takes and realize this is going go be a long read. I also scroll down to the bottom, if there is a Credit Card sign, I delete it. This is the first I read all the way through, my mental break here. Interesting points, thanks, now what was I doing ??

  8. The main reason we get distracted is that it offers us a way to avoid an unpleasant or daunting task. We will find anything to do other than the task that needs to be done. As one trainer in our field once said, every day we must eat a frog. What he meant was, the first thing you must do when you start your day is to attack the most difficult task, the one you just don’t want to do. Eat that frog…get er done! You will waste a lot less time during the day, and feel much better about yourself.

  9. Right on the point Rich
    You are just telling what problems many people faces – my self included. Often I start my day very focused but after a couple of hours interruptions start to come and tend to take away focus. I think the solution might be to have more persistance in the highly focused hours and not let interruptions get in the way.
    I think you are touching with a very important subject here, Rich.
    Thanks for bringing it up.

    Peder Andersen

  10. Thanks but I’d rather have not had this distraction. An email telling me to visit a blog to find an article about NOT being distracted? Where is the sense in that?

  11. The problem most people have with information overload is because they lack a good foundation. Everyone wants to somehow circumvent the learning curve. I don’t care what you do, including working behind the counter at McDonald’s, there is a learning curve. If you really want to learn focus that you can translate into just about any discipline, study a martial art, Yoga or how to play a musical instrument. Most young people these days simply lack the focus.

    The problem is not only one of increased information but also one of decreased attention spans. I am 47 years old so I have seen it happen. First there was the newspaper for the beginning of attention deficit generation called USA today. Information compression has since accelerated. Still, the best filter one can have for the useless is a command of your subject matter.

    Another point – where is the idea of happiness in all of this business development talk? Why do most people seem to necessarily assume that more money equals more happiness? I guess there are some things I just don’t get about young people these days.

    Thanks for the food for thought, Rich, I enjoy it.

  12. Rich,
    THis is the first time I have responded to your blog but this concept is right on the money. Dan Sullivan (The Strategic Coach) talks about dividing your days up into FREE, FOCUS, and BUFFER days. This has helped me tremendously over the past few years. I believe that most people just dont know how inefficient they are – so bringing the problem to light is the first part of the solution. Tim obviously did this rather well in the 4 hour workweek. The bigger point though is that it (distractions, inefficiency etc…) is an ADDICTION. An addiction as powerful as any drug and one that could hurt your pocketbook just as bad. Some people are addicted to work and have a hard time vacationing. I used to be literally addicted to email. It seemed like a christmas gift or little shiny present every time i would hear the jingle. AND I was addicted to replying FAST so people would know Im all over it, that I was on top of everything. THE only solution is first recognizing how bad you are hurting yourself if you are allowing all these distractions to get to you AND then doing exactly what you described – break up each Project into tasks that can be done with a deadline!
    Thanks Man

  13. It is hard to break habits that we have had for long periods of time. I know firsthand LOL!

    The written step by step plan with a set time frame for accomplishing each step is critical in breaking out of the distraction downfall.

    Hey, I still allocate some time to the distractions I so enjoy!


  14. HI

    I agree with your blog about interruption, the interent is very informative

    and one can get distracted very easily, this happens to me somtimes too.

    keep up the good work on your blog.

    Thank you

  15. Great Message, I think that some people can be distracted and interrupted by many things… I need to work on being less distracted or interrupted or interruptable LOL and get the work done that needs to be done. Make a list and start getting Some TRAFFIC to my Website! That’s what I need to focus on right now is getting traffic to my website!

    Thanks For your advice and wisdom Rich!

    David King,


    “Where Site Needs Are Met With Quality Resources”

  16. Thanks Rich,

    To stay away from interruptions, I keep my IM off and only check emails once every night, after a days work.

    That’s how I arrived at reading your blog now (at night).

    Thanks for adding so much value to me. Keep them coming, Rich!

  17. Great point about the danger of being more focused on the ‘busy-ness’ of the race more than creating good results. When I find myself not getting the results I’d like, often I’ll just call a ‘time-out’ and sit back to see what it is I REALLY need to do next. Often what I’m doing is not what I really SHOULD be doing…

    Re-focusing and re-energizing are as important as actually doing the work. I just took a week off to do that (travel and vacation with friends) and now I’m re-energized, re-focused and realigned with my purpose.

  18. Interruption / Distraction. External / Internal. At the end it has the same effect on us. We loss focus.
    Even though this email did interrupted me, still think is worth it. Because makes me aware of the reasons why things hardly or never get done and sometimes did not know why.

    Will continue in your list Rich and will keep reading every single line you trow at us. . . . thanks again.

  19. Rich, i really wish you would stop sending me such good, distracting, hits-me-right-in-the gut ideas while i’m trying to GET MY TASKS DONE.

  20. Hey, this was a interesting interruption. Just about every post was honest and from the heart.

    It’s easy to have this problem. I think I personally must change to be more successful in every area of my life.

    My wife and I work to gether and it’s easy to get side tracked with questions on spelling or computer problems.

    When I get up in the morning I usually am focused for a two or three hours period and then my mind drifts to something different. I will to improve my concentration and get more accomplished.
    Thank you all for your thoughts.

  21. Well, not to get to fluffy here, but I’ll posit that a lot of outer distraction really comes from inner distraction, which is all about a lack of self confidence and fear of success. And a well formulated question (really well formulated) will indicate the answer; yes, hunting for information is often fruitless. When I really need to solve something I create a mental diagram of what I have so far and what I need and look at it in my mind’s eye for about 3 minutes. Then I tell my subconscious to do its work and forget about it & veg out on the couch and watch kung fu flicks or something. Usually within a day all of a sudden my answer will hit me sideways from out of nowhere. I can’t think of when this technique has failed.
    I’m looking forward to part II of the Attention Deficit Doctrine.

  22. As someone who was continually reminded of the need to concentrate, I always find time a means of achieving focus by trying to do as much in as little time as possible. The sense of having “too much time” is in some ways an excuse to get distracted and go off on tangental routes which may or may not bring your goal to fruition. Imposing your self-discipline to get your thoughts aligned correctly and then knowing that you have achieved what you set out to do is always a gratifying feeling, however long it takes.

  23. This is a great article, full of bottom line truth that we need to hear. I read recently that a study was done that showed that each interruption costs us up to 20 minutes of valuable time.That includes the time taken by the interruption, plus 3-6 minutes to recover and get back in focus

  24. This is a very provocative post. Your very first assertion, that interruptions are in the eye of the interrupted, acknowledges that not all interruptions are unimportant. This assertion is supported by your next key statement:

    “Trouble is, you won’t realize whether or not the information is important until
    you’ve given it your attention.”

    Unfortunately, the remainder of the post narrowly focuses on one class of interruptions and distractions – those that occur in the workplace. While this class is relevant to the readers of your blog, addressing the negative consequences that this class has on a business owner’s productivity in terms of said owner’s indecisiveness is a non-sequitur.
    Consider the two statements made in the post:
    1. Workplace interruptions and distractions serve one disturbing purpose: they take us off course.
    2. Instead of doing what your business needs you to do, you end up doing what you want to do.

    The tenuous link between the two, that is, the CONSEQUENCES “[of] allowing interruptions to sidetrack us – by giving in to the pull of distraction” is not strong enough to reach the desired conclusion that “we simply delay our primary gratification: the knowledge and pride in a job well done and the financial reward that comes with it.”

    The reason the link breaks is that doing what we are supposed to do is not dependent upon the elimination of interruptions.

    I agree that, if you accept the definitions given in the post, doing what we are supposed to do depends upon refusing to give in to the pull of DISTRACTIONS.
    Dealing with INTERRUPTIONS is a part of business. Successful people learn to PRIORITIZE, DELEGATE and PROCESS interruptions effectively.

    To summarize, I believe that the simple act of linking interruptions AND distractions to loss of business efficiency invalidates an otherwise important and useful essay. This post addresses two very different business challenges, but only offers a solution for one. Yet, that solution does not resolve the title of the post.

    Thanks for making me think!


  25. Good article, i know that is the big prospec business in the future of in my country. And I want to do it for pasive income in here. But My problem is dont have credit card,visa or some much money in dollar then not yet computer in my hand. I want change my finance of life but that is my problem now. And I believe if that all business to I to translate in my Indonesian,can the big an grow up in here.
    Hwo is can help with an coorporate with me for the future??

  26. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Email and surfing are my biggest distractions. I think I realized this subconsciously, but now I’ve got no excuse. Discipline it is from now on. Thanks, I really needed that kick in the pants.

  27. There’s another great guy out there who’s referred to this as “gemmelsmerch” – “The force that distracts the mind or steals it away from what it wants to do or ought to be doing.”
    Thanks for the reminder!

  28. Rich,

    The keyword when you speak about the “attention age” is, “Selective.” Yes, you are correct to say that we need to be focused and diciplined, however, part of the focus is knowing which distraction will enhance your focus. Sounds almost contradictory.

    Take answering your e-mail for instance. Today,I am so focused ( relentless is probably a better choice), I am reading from people who are known authorities and can aid me towards my goals of acheivement. Our goals should include, constantly striving to improve. How do we improve? By reading and applying what we learn.

    That’s where being selective comes in. You must make a list, either mental or written, and only open or spend your valuable time learning from those who can really help you achieve your goals.

    The next part of the selectivity process narrows it down even further. Stick to a topic or two to focus on. I have found that when I am trying to accomplish too many things in too mnay areas, the productivity level goes down. Riight now I am mastering our autoresponder, squeeze pages, and lists. Next week is Headline and text changes and then match everything with new meta tags, descriptions, etc… for SEO.
    Adwords focusing is what you do in between all the other focusing….:)

    The bottom line is to be very selective on who you listen to and what topics you need to pay attention to. Many times I will open an e-mail from a trusted authority and “save” it until I am ready to dive into that topic.

    How to present your ideas, goals, passions, and sincerity to a targeted group of people is one thing, but getting them to your site and then haveing them trust you enough to purchase is another. You need all the tools, but you can only focus in one area at a time.

    Any one have any other ideas which can further increase ones attention?

    Donna M Smith

  29. Tim Ferriss got me to check email just once a day and that alone has been amazing for my focus. Mike Litman teaches about the power of focus a lot. I wondered if I should come here to read the article… was I being duped? I’d have to admit I gave in to the distraction… but after reading it, I will say that I am now even more well armed to keep focus. Very Valuable Stuff once again Rich. Thank you! And great honest comments by the readers, that’s cool!

  30. Dear Rich,

    It’s an encouraging article thanks.

    Interruption and distraction are part of life, nobody could eliminate them any of those. The flow of life is constant, spontaneous and dynamic. There are options that needs immediate response and some could be procrastinated then.

    It’s hard oftentimes to distinguish between the priority options than the other secondary choice. To feel hungry is the real example that needs interruption. If you live alone, you need to cook for your dinner. If somebody calls your help, you need to intervene. Like what happen to me this time, I was reading lot of my email and then I finished to read this wonderful article of yours; I left my email box just to compose my comment here. These are examples of interruption.

    To change the goal and objective of business could be distraction. Sometimes it’s easy to loose in the ocean of oppotunities and tempted to be deviated towards the outer occasions. Doubts persist and temptation demands.

    There are infinite opportunities that can influence your business goal and lured to change and change your website because you have infinite stored ideas and it seems you’re not contented wit it. Or else, you came into the best hypothesis of creating another business than promoting your original idea. You’re tempted to step out, ouch!

    If this is the case, you need to win and defeat the temptation of embracing new ideas at the expense of your original business. You need focus, attention and less distraction. You must learn to eliminate the multiple opportuniities that would be the vehicle of loosing your focus towards your dream.

    You’ll not succeed unless you lack of focus. You can’t reach the port of your destination if you stop and enchanted with the fascinating view of the horizon. You need to navigate and continue to travel on the same vessel and with the same captain and planned destination, that all folks.

    To your success,

    Dr. Sage Bizmind

  31. Hi Rick,

    In answer to your question “Do you have an interruption problem, a distraction problem, or an indecision problem?”

    The Answer is “Yes and No”.

    But to add further to you message


    1. Find your true north.
    2. Stay focused.
    3. Keep taking steps towards reaching your goal.
    4. Monitor results and make adjust if required.

    A plan helps
    A desire is essential
    A passion gets you out of bed
    And some discipline helps you stick with the yucky bits and th system.

    (TIP: Do yucky bits first)

    The the big question though… how to make these techniques a habit? a way of life.

    Use them for 30 day.

    Easier said than done, but now I have no excuse.


  32. The biggest distraction I find is the very tools I use to create my full-time income…my computer and the Internet!

    When I met Rich at the World Internet Summit, he talked about unplugging your computer from the ‘net when you had to get some serious work done. Advise I now follow and also pass along to my clients and customers.

    Thanks Rich. Alway great value.

    William Sinclair
    Home of the the f.ree Fast Start to Online Success Mini-Course

  33. I had a friend who called it ‘work avoidance’ and I always smile when I realize I am doing it.

    It doesn’t seem to matter which part is work. When it is housework I get distracted by the computer when I’m dusting and think I’ll “just check my emails”

    When I’m working at the computer, I’ll stop to get a drink and “just do the dishes while I’m there”

    Another name for it is “multi tasking” I guess.

    Either way, stuff gets done. But I do agree that reading and learning, although also necessary, are the greatest distraction of all. But also fun, kinda like chasing butterflies eh?

    Sorry, the dinner is cooked and the troops are hungry.


  34. We are going to experience distractions, no matter how well we try and insulate ourselves. It’s how we manage those distractions that count. And sometimes those distractions can be turned into interesting diversions, which is what I consider your blog, and John Reese’s (when he was still publishing). A lot can be learned from these distractions cum diversions, as long as we keep our focus.

    Good post, Rich.

  35. Rich, this is so true – I see the same thing with lots of my clients. The sad thing is this not only applies to businesses, this applies to lives as well!
    My work gives my kind of an “inside view” in many peoples life strategies – because people talk with me about these things.
    And what I see again and again is this: People feel like they don’t have enough time for what really matters to them.
    And when I ask them what they did yesterday, and the day before, they reply: “Why, I watched TV / read a book / surfed the web / went shopping.”
    I ask these people: “Well, instead of watching yet another movie, or buying yet another earring, why don’t you do … (whatever matters to them)?” And they reply: “Yes, good idea!”
    I see them four weeks later, and it’s the same thing. It’s like people are addicted to distraction.

    So, is there a way to “free” people from that “addiction”?

  36. It seems I like to be distracted. I think this desire for distaction comes from uncertainty in what do do next as far as business goals.
    From this day forward I am dumping (unsubscribing) to all my email newsletters. I don’t need more information, I need LESS !

  37. Rich,

    you are fast becoming my absolute hero in the business world. I am working on a site to help those trying to start an online business to avoid all the distractions and pitfalls of the information overload syndrome… and you are just nailing the science of the mind with regards to focus and ACTION. It is so much easier to think about doing something than it is to do it… an awful dilemna in the internet marketing world- sitting in front of your computer is already kind of a surreal, out-of-body, virtual experience– and trying to stay grounded while in that mode is a challenge… thanks for the tips and insight!

    Keith deBolt

  38. I am just beginnin to look at the real world of internet sales and your article is great, it hit hoee immediately. Even more so, it is soething everyone can use at hoe, in the owrk force/ office environent or in their personal life. I just started a new 9-5 job and this article came as a great reinder of what I have taught others in previous work experiences. Thanks for a very tiely reminder that we are the one that choose how or if we react to the interruptions. How we do truly does make a difference in the choices we ake later.

  39. If I hadn’t responded to an interruption, I wouldn’t have found my new business (website to come), but I was also looking for a new business to get into. Distractions, though, they’re the tough ones. Really need discipline here as I both work and play on the internet so can’t just shut it down all the time. Keep up the great posts, Rich.


  40. Rich,

    I thought that was a really good article. It…(sorry, the phone rang).

    It lays out the different time wasters that sh…(man, I was thirsty, had to get a drink of water).
    It shows how we allow our focus to be dis-tracted.

    You gave a plan of action to solves the problem, that tied the whole article together.


  41. Thanks for another great article Rich.
    I just recently started to dicipline myself and try to work with a plan. Not easy though as I am part of a membership program support and members expect help at any time. But still it can be done as I prooved myself today when I was setting up 3 blogs, answered several forum posts plus studied a new program I am implementing in my biz.
    So I’m quite satified with my focus today.

    Oh, and I don’t take reading your articles as interruption but as part of my improvement. Btw. I received your email 12 hours ago and only now I read it. Shows I am on a good way to dicipline myself 😉

    Looking forward for your next article


  42. Well said Rich,

    I must admit there are numerous occassions when I do get sidetracked by things that deter me from reaching my goals. This article was a great read and very useful.

    Thanks for this eye opening article, I look forward to many more.

    kind regards

  43. I have to watch that I do not get so focused that I forget everyone else. I am very good at blocking things out.
    I also have time limits for special projects, I work on them a certain amount of time & then I move on. So, sometimes it takes me a few days to finish. I do have a priority list of must do’s for each day.
    I do some of my best focusing in the middle of the night. That is when I can be alone. We live full time in an RV, I homeschool, work a live help line, & a conference room. That leaves a big part of my day being stopped with questions. But, l like to get up at about 2am, everything is slow but my mind.
    If I did not have a plan I would have sunk long ago.
    See, I have no choice but to ‘get ‘er done’. LOL!
    Thank you for the great tips,
    Sheryl Loch

  44. I have got held up with a silly problem.In this age of Technology, I don’t have a Pay Pal Account nor I am able to make remittances through a Credit Card. This means that I can’t even accept a One Dollar offer to learn what I need to learn.I find that th frustration from this situation becomes fuel for all the other distractions.Only after I have succeeded in solving this problem cn I assess whether there are any real distractions in my work plans. Wonder whether there are more people in such odd distraction brackets!

  45. HI Rich:
    with all due respect, i think this topic can cause a great deal of guilt and anxiety…there was a time when we plowed the fields, and sang the whole time we worked…there’s no art in business anymore, the soul is gone..
    and before that, there was a time when we hunted with a focus that was very real and very clear…and absolutely essential.
    but there was also a lot of down time, time for telling stories, for staring at the stars, and dancing round the fire…
    one of the reasons i open my emails is the desire to be connected..one of the reasons i love not outsourcing is that i can walk into my office and see real people, and feel the pulse of my business.
    i don’t think i want to live with blinders on, thank you…i’d much rather see the whole picture and come in last then be first and not have seen anything on the journey….
    that being said, there definitely is a need to get focussed for at least x amount of time a day..but if you look at people who are too focussed, their heads are gawking out at the computer screen, their necks and backs are tight, and their shoulders are up by their ears…it’s good to get up and move at least once an hour..

    much love

  46. This is a wonderful series..
    I find that as I read each one I am finally starting to understand how to filter out all the unimportant things in my business.

    My days are really starting to become more productive

  47. I guess I’d have to label mine as an distraction problem. I only just isolated this today in a conversation with my brother. My training is in computers, and although I enjoy programming, it isn’t quite fulfilling because it’s all intangible.
    I have been studying internet marketing and enjoy a whole lot of the aspects of it, but as I realized today, it’s also intangible and I’m not achieving my goals because I haven’t really found a way to wrap my mind around the big picture. What you suggest — writing down all the steps to the goal — only works if you can clearly see the goal and clearly see how to get there. My goals are vague because the business is vague in my mind — it’s all intangible.
    It’s not as if I prefer working with my hands, but I am must have some inner need that is not being satisfied with all this intangible stuff. It just doesn’t quite feel right, or maybe it’s too big to see all at once, or if I just knew it more thoroughly I could get it under control.
    So, the distraction is subtle, but it does distract me, and I end up doing things I can handle better, but don’t get me closer to my goals.

  48. Rich, Once again thank you for the reminder…! I remember hearing these word that was spoken by a very successful marketer like yourself…”Success is focusing on ONE thing over a long period of time!”

    Those words stuck in me, along with your manuscripts that you have written, yet I find myself struggling at times to re-focus.

    But reading your reports and blog has help me to realize what important for my life now!

    Thanks RICH!

    -Scott Y.

  49. Hello Rich,
    Thank you for mentioning your part 2 will be out next month..i look forward to it very much..
    The strategy you employ in your business is very interesting and obviously effective..The free manifesto’s
    gave me the idea to do the same..i am now researching my subject..
    The idea you gave me in the first report i have used to great effect..”find your talent and use it…a second investor is now negotiating with me and i have a contract to supply an enterprise center in Pakistan..
    Thank you again ..ian testmyidea.com

  50. Another powerful post… as a Performance Lifestyle Trainer and Coach, I live by a mantra, “Clear Vision and The Endurance to Achieve it”, we need both.

    This article helped me realize the need for clear vision in business tasks, the projects and to do’s that must get done for our business to be successful. I notice I tend to do what I have clarity around and procrastinate on those items that I am unclear about.

    The big picture is great, but it’s the day to day that matters most in the function of the business. Interruptions and distractions are a reality of our lives, but I am now going to implement this approach of knowing the clear steps to accomplish each task and project. I am committed to that.

    That clarity of what it takes to get the reward, combined with energy and endurance, is going to have a big impact, I’m sure. Thanks Rich for chipping away at these all too important areas of successful living.

  51. hi,I am realy trying to schedule myself to remove time & brain draining thing arround inorder to live a bit for myself and my hobbies but sometimes I find it impossible.I realy don’t know what to do to concentrate more about my hobbies not duties.may be that is because I have made others get used to me, to do their duties in life so I have no time left for myself. the other thing I remembered i sthat sometimes I am so worried and stressful that I can not concentrate to do what I want to do.

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