Smart phones. Multiple screens. Regardless of where one works, interruptions occur as much as every 11 minutes every day. Easy to imagine in a regular office setting, right? But in nontraditional venues, distractions can range from music in a coffee shop, laundry, hunting for a snack, to more common job-related examples like social media, cleaning notes on the desk or answering one more email.
Create a Bailey
What’s a “bailey”? Bailey is the name of our family’s 14-year-old Rat Terrier. The word also means the outer wall of a castle. Now let’s apply the concept to human beings: since individuals effectively function as their own castle, the bailey is only as strong as any particular person makes it.
The upshot? Define, practice and stick to your boundaries. Construct a strong and impenetrable bailey.
Gatekeepers provide an invaluable service. Yet choice is a powerful force; what you choose to acknowledge breaches the bailey. A person’s internal gatekeeper may allow information in that is better kept out – or even let things in too soon.
Train the Gatekeeper
Shon Kokozka shared a valuable insight from The ONE Thing (the book featured on the on Amplify Your Impact, a Jess+Scott+You episode) about building a bunker: prepare! Get what you need to hole up and stay away from hindrances while working. Remove temptations and opportunities for distraction will create a space for choosing a priority, and laser-like focusing of all energy for extended periods.
Every single one of us can accomplish this goal! But doing so takes constant vigilance. At every turn something competes for our attention, arouses curiosity and forms openings to explore…which means the gatekeeper function is always operating.
The Most Important Thing
Amplify Your Impact also covered a related item fitting into gatekeeper training – the “4D Approach”:
Ditch It. Actions far out of the realm of supporting the overarching “one thing.” Any approach to let go (gently, with ferocity, sheer avoidance, etc.) will work.
Delegate It. Find someone who can perform the function for you.
Do It Later. Grouping similar tasks enables channeling brain power for a specific purpose to increase productivity and maximize time.
Do It Now. It is the most important matter at this moment.
Busy, Busy, Busy
Blah! There is so much more to do than time permits. What an opportunity to shift direction and support the power of the present. Current activities reflect on where we were previously and planning the next steps.
The challenge: switch the focus of busy to full. Choose to enjoy down time as much as active time. Treat each as equally important and engage fully – quit thinking about what could or should be done! Building that gatekeeper will serve to honor both the self and priorities.
What now? Oh, gatekeeper…