“Squirrel!” If you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning animated movie “Up”, you’ve watched “Dug” the talking dog and his talking dog colleagues get immediately and completely distracted by the sight or sound of squirrels. It doesn’t matter what they are doing, Dug and his companions get sight of a squirrel and everything momentarily stops. In some instances, they can’t regain their focus or have completely gotten off track because of their squirrel distraction.
Does this sound familiar? While you might not get distracted by squirrels in the literal sense, many leaders are tempted by ‘squirrels’ that go by other names. Your ‘squirrels’ may be exciting new ideas or possibilities, the next invitation, the new job advertisement or the continual stream of e-communication. Whatever your ‘squirrels’ are, they temporarily capture your attention, distract you from the important, blur focus, take up emotional RAM and sometimes get you completely off track.
Here are three practical tools to keep you focused in the midst of possible distractions: