“What Keeps You Up At Night?”

Are you distracted, too?This morning I went to a network meeting for professionals in transition. Man, it’s been months since I’ve been to one of these! I used to go to two or three a week but then I just got too busy at work. I miss the environment… even though there are people there with immediate issues (like, no income), they are very open and helpful. Whether you are employed or not I encourage you to look one up and go, just to see what it’s like.

(for those that have a job): In a comment left yesterday by one of my partners, Brad Attig of My Retail Career, leaves a quote from John F. Kennedy: “The best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining.” Don’t wait to go to a networking meeting… by then it’s weird and embarrassing.

So anyway, one of the questions that usually comes up is “what keeps you up at night?” Today there was a very interesting answer: distractions.

Last week the guy didn’t do much because he was registering for unemployment, and “other things.” This week he plans to dedicate to … registering for unemployment, and “other things.”

Come on guys. Let’s get real here. We can put this off as long as we want, we can work to get our own house in order, we can take care of all the little distractions… oh wait, when those are done, there will be more that pop up.

Haven’t any of you said, in your last job, something like “when things slow down we’ll do xyz.” I’m guessing things never slowed down. But you had to do the important things, and not get mired down by distractions, right?

One of the veteran transition guys there said he took one week, got rid of all distractions, and hasn’t allowed “distractions” to be an excuse anymore. I guess I’m cool with that. If your distractions are that bad, dedicate a reasonable amount of time and get them out of the way – at least the important ones. But man, then you have to buckle down and get to work!!

I’ve blogged on this here, Chicken List Is Out – Now Put Away The Honey-Do List! (make sure to read the comments).

But I counter it with some common sense here, Water Damage Is Expensive – Don’t Neglect Your House (again, the comments are key).

Don’t let distractions be the reason for your failure. If you are having problems with distractions, I strongly encourage you to check out my Expert Partners page to find experts (and coaches) that have partnered with JibberJobber.

8 thoughts on ““What Keeps You Up At Night?””

  1. I read you Blog today as well. Glad I could provide you a topic for your blog. I do need to get moving a little faster, however, with listing and selling and closing (3 days from list to fund) the Condo of which I was a part owner, disbursing the funds, cleaning out my office in the condo and setting it up at home, configuring the VPN’s (15) for the remaining clients residing around the country, preparing for two interviews railroading the holiday, etc. I think I have done pretty well.

    BTW- I got a call today for a second interview with one of my Focus Companies.

    I hope this doesn’t come across negatively as I do need someone to KICK MY B___! and get me moving a little faster. Thank you for the KICK!

    My business partner once used the phrase “Don’t confuse ACTIVITY for PRODUCTIVITY.” I will remember that in my seeking as well as my work ethics.

  2. Excellent advice, Jason. It’s a great reminder to keep our priorities in order and pay attention to how we’re really spending our time.

  3. I agree with both the article and Trail Blazer’s comments.

    The distractions are always there. Even now I’m writing this comments, because instead of focusing onstuff that needs to get done, I’m on my news reader instead. And of course these things come in all sizes – this distracted me for a few minutes. But I have stuff I’ve been delaying for weeks, since, well, I got distracted.

    It’s always good to be reminded of that, and get back on track for what’s really important.

    Gil

  4. Jason,

    Absolutely agree with you as well. The only thing I’d like to add to this is that I often find that folks who are struggling, experiencing depression (due to layoffs / being unemployed / financially / fill-in-the-blank) or going through some big shift in their life can also procrastinate due to those reasons. Not wanting to face whatever it is that is going on, or deal with the issues at hand, can also cause the “distractions” to run the day. I think that if someone is putting off important things such as looking for a job, listing with agencies or any other move that will ultimately improve their life but require effort up front, they might have a deeper issue than just the average procrastination.

    Maggie Lang
    http://corprockstar.blogspot.com

  5. @ Trail Blazer – hm… and I didn’t expect you to read my blog, so last night when I saw your comment come through I was a little embarrassed. I’m glad you took it this way, understand your concerns (and agree with your priorities), and want to convey one thing. This post was not directed at you. It is for the hundreds of readers… so I kept the names out of the post in hopes that the message was more important… anyway, I’m feeling a little sheepish that you came across this :p

    @ Norman – thanks for the comment 🙂

    @ Gil – you know what’s funny, I sometimes think “man, people really shouldn’t read my blog because, well, it’s a distraction from what they should be doing!” :p But you said it first. I can only live with my blog-self because I hope that day-by-day I have some kind of influence on people becoming better, more effective, more focused.

    @ Maggie – you are right… in other words, the distractions can be a symptom of a bigger, deeper issue. That’s one reason why I point to my career expert partner page… sometimes you really need someone to give you a swift kick in the butt.

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  7. Ahh, yes: distractions. The bane of our existence in this wired, always-on Web 2.0 world. To get past them, you have to make clear goals for yourself and also to have a system that ensures you’ll reach those goals without getting sidetracked at every turn.

    Tiffany Monhollon just wrote a great post about “getting things done” that you should check out:
    http://littleredsuit.com/2007/07/09/forget-multitasking-if-you-can-%e2%80%93-five-tips-for-getting-stuff-done/

  8. Bryan, thanks for the link to Tiffany’s post on GTD. This is a book that I have on my list to read this year.

    I would have read it by now but I’m still… getting… sidetracked… at… every… turn… 😉

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