The ability to focus, Jerry Seinfeld style
I read a great article recently about Jerry Seinfeld and the astronomical success of his TV show. We all loved it.
I’m sure you’re aware that jerry himself did not draw us in because of his incredibly good looks, nor his phenomenal acting skills. While he and the cast were great actors, none of them were big name stars, so the show had to get off the ground from a standing start.
However he explained that normally in Hollywood, so much time is sucked out of every day in dealing with administration, personalities and such distractions that he put his success down to focus.
He and his fellow writer knew how to just lock themselves away for hours on end and they put the time in to writing. The show’s success, as we would all agree, was how good the script was, and that was attributed to their focus on it.
It made me think about the rest of us and how distracted we are in our day to day. There’s always an email to attend to, a call to take, a check of social media to see if we are missing out on anything special, a check of the day’s news online, and before we know it, hours have gone by and we have spun our wheels.
For me, sitting at my desk is not in fact where I find my focus. I can get through a lot of work, but I cannot focus on the bigger picture in that place. For example, I cannot write a blog like this at my desk when I look at my in tray and see just how much work ‘urgently’ requires my attention.
Imagine how many books never get finished, blogs never get written, business plans don’t get completed, sermons by pastors aren’t as good as they could have been, and so on, simply because we cannot find the time or space to focus.
If you have this problem, which most of us do, then from personal experience, the best advice I can give you is to find a space where you can work on projects or ideas without distraction. For me, I have actual destinations where I go to when I need to get away from the day to day to look at the bigger picture, to write, to dream, and to check that we are heading in the right direction.
Having the ability to focus is one of the hardest – yet most important – skills we need to acquire. If you have a list of things you need to get to, but cannot seem to, then turn off your phone, leave the office or your home, find a quiet place, and find that space where nothing will distract you from those tasks that, once completed, could change the direction of your life.
Image courtesy David Shankbone, Wikipedia Commons
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