Focus Your Attention When It Is Go-Time

It’s 5:32 AM and this is the last thing I’m doing before I’m on Go-Time-Lockdown. 

Today I have a speaking engagement for UMEC in Phoenix.  It’s a return engagement for a group of great people that support my work and practice what I preach as leaders.  There is nothing more important today than this talk – and the takeaway value it should deliver to the audience. 

In our culture, we have one area of over-confidence that holds us back: The Myopia Of Can-Juggle.  We think we can do several things at once well.  But the reality is that we can’t.  If I get sucked into Tweeting, checking FB, working on Net Minds, selling the next gig or just grazing on my Inbox, there’s a chance when it’s Go-Time later today, I’ll only be half strength.  It’s called dillution. 

Every one of you have Go-Times in your life.  Presentations, project meeting, creative sessions, coding assignments on deadline, etc.  They are challenging, high-stakes and require you to be 100% on.  So why do you try and juggle the Big-Thing with all the Little-Things?  You may say, “I have a primary focus and secondary ones to keep things interesting.”  

That sounds good in principle, but in reality, you’ll spend too much time buffering on the not-so-important stuff that doesn’t stress you out than the preparation you must execute to tackle today’s big challenge.  I’ve done this before, and paid the price later on stage.  No more.  

Today, my tweets are pre-programmed and you won’t see me on FB.  I’m not answering my iPhone because it will be on silent, squirreled away in my bag.  I’ve delegated everything, including decision-making, to my manager and the founding team at my company.  I’ll review all my notes from this and my previous talk at UMEC.  I’ll rehearse (mentally and then in a green room) my remarks, especially the one-of-a-kind ones I’ve created for them.  I’ll re-read a little from a book I bought for UMEC to read later, a highly relevant book on the future of their business by Dan Pink (A Whole New Mind).

My next non-gig thought patterns will start when I’m in the taxi on the way to the airport.  And the world will go on without me.  Dr. Stephen Covey Sr. once said that if you don’t do the work, all of the hard work, you’ll know it deep inside at the moment of truth – and it will be a drag on you.  When I hit the stage this afternoon, I’ll be light as a feather, with my whole mind centered on what’s important.  Please try this approach for your next Go-Time and report the results in comments!