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Focus Is No Laughing Matter

By Joey Havens

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Early morning workouts are part of my routine and today I am in the middle of three circuits of bridge press. Basically, in this exercise, you lay on the floor, and raise your butt so that your shoulders are pressed into the mat. Then you press dumbbell weights straight into the air above your body as you alternate arms. I do a total of 24 presses on each circuit.  I’ve built my resistance up to a point where I am now using 30-pound dumbbells.

This morning, I’m in my second set when my yorkie Oliver comes upstairs to the gym to say good morning. He immediately begins licking my face and will not quit as I press up 10, 11, and 12. I start laughing, and the more I say no, the more he licks my face. 

So now I have a choice to make, stop the reps and my rhythm or try to stop laughing and focus intensely on my task at hand.   I know if I stop, I always come up with excuses not to finish the circuit, or I do them so slowly afterward that I never achieve the intensity needed to really push myself.  I find this is true not only for my exercise routines but especially for any work projects.  When I focus uninterrupted, I get so much more accomplished at a higher level of achievement and in less time, sometimes in half the time.  That’s the power of focus.  That’s why Better Focus is one of the three disciplines I teach for ABCs to Outstanding

We miss the power of focus so much because, as studies show, we interrupt ourselves over 50% of the time. It starts with the phone, but we find lots of reasons to break our focus. If we want to be outstanding and have high performance, learning to stay focused is one of the keys. Do you find yourself making excuses for things when your focus is broken? How long does it take to get that focus back or to get the same intensity going?  How often do you interrupt yourself? 

CeCe:  Have you finished your workout already?

Me:  No, I just stopped for a moment as Oliver licked my face.  I will go back up later and try to finish.   

Do you have some funny interruptions to share?  

John O’Leary says, “Read it now! This journey in Leading with Significance to build a magnetic workplace reveals not only where God, faith and belonging intersect to create a magnetic culture but practical ideas and poignant stories to ensure you create it within your organization.” 

Grab your copy of Leading with Significance to find more magnetic insights to help you on your unique journey. 

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