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Old June 29, 2011, 12:58 PM
Work Satisfaction Work Satisfaction is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 5
Default Re: The power of focus and the bugbear of distraction...

Originally Posted by Dien Rice View Post
Hi Gordon,

What you say is absolutely right!

Often it's hard to get away from all the distractions nowadays... (But not impossible!)

Think of all the distractions we have now, that they didn't have 100 years ago? Television, radio, movie cinemas, all kinds of electronic games, and so on... If you have a choice of watching your favorite TV show, or doing some needed work, which is easier to do?

I know a guy who would like to have more time to work on the business he's planning. However, one of his problems is that he doesn't even have a separate room in his house where he can "get away" to focus! He has two very young children. Imagine the constant distraction he'd be under at home, especially without a separate room he could escape to... I think it would be next-to-impossible to get anything done with his current setup.

(One guy solved this problem by getting an old caravan, and parking it in his back yard... and using it as his office! Not practical for everyone - but interesting to read about... Check it out here -

Another, extremely successful person I know, told me that he never watches television. He loves working on his (extremely successful) business. Why should he waste his time watching TV - which is generally not productive - rather than work on his business? TV is the "pretend world" - you can "pretend" you're part of the lives of the characters on the screen. But why not work on your business, and create a wonderful "real world" to live in, instead?

Sometimes, even I find it's good to "get out" of the house and focus elsewhere - libraries, cafes, and so on. With modern technology (like laptops) that's not so hard to do now. And the battery life of some laptops is just getting better and better, so you can spend the whole day working without having to plug it in to the electricity. (I also have a setup so I can connect to the internet anywhere wirelessly.)

One great place I've found to work without distractions is... upscale hotel lobbies (particularly the cafe/bar section).

I spent a couple hours working at the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in my city last night, doing some writing. At other times, I've also worked in the lobbies of the local Westin, Sofitel, Hyatt, and Novotel hotels.

The great thing is, most upscale hotel lobbies are designed to be comfortable both for those who want to relax, as well as for "business guests" who want to do some work.

To emphasize... They are designed for work!

They're also often quieter than cafes.

I've found that the drinks can be a little expensive, but you can nurse a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or glass of soft drink or juice for a while, and you don't feel out of place, since there are often others working on their laptops too. I've found these are the best places outside of home to work for me.

The cafe/bars of hotel lobbies are open to all - you don't have to be a staying guest at the hotel. Remember, these hotels also often host conferences, and conference attendees often work in the lobbies too.

There you go - that's one of my "secrets" to working out of home effectively... Find an upscale hotel lobby cafe/bar, and work there!

I got off topic, but... I think it's all relevant...

Best wishes,


I have to agree that a plan which has not been broken down into manageable tasks for one to focus on each and everyday is often lacking in substance.

Many individuals feel that by making the 'broad strokes' the finer details will automatically fall into place once the process is started. Sadly this is hardly ever the case. Many are then disillusioned and look for someone or something to blame for their failure.

I have read a very true proverb which I carry with me daily: 'Those who fail to plan, plan to fail'. We alone have a choice whether we will put a plan in place to realise our dreams or whether we will sit back and hope for the best. Those who have truly worked hard at any goal can tell you that not putting in enough effort and not planning effectively rarely ends well.

Most successes can only be achieved through hard work and careful planning on your part (inheritances are often exempt here). I truly believe that if one is passionate about what you do, it is far easier to put in the effort and make the daily sacrifices in order to realise your dream and make a success of the process.

I do have to admit that I sometimes have the opportunity to accompany my husband to his work-place which happens to be at a hotel. It is indeed wonderful to change your working environment or basic routine on occassion. On the days that I am priviledged enough to work in the guest lounge, I find that my mind often opens to new ideas which were not there before. I'm not sure if it is due to the amazing coffee that they serve or their general hospitality but I do indeed look forward to these trips!

One last note is maybe just to say that it is crucial to take at least one day a week off to rest and relax from achieving your goal. I often find that after having removed myself from my pc for a day on a sunday, my mind is fresher and I find it easier to pick up where I left off on the saturday.
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