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Squirrel! Or, How I Learned To Stay Focused At Work

It’s way too easy to get distracted by squirrels.

No, not the furry little rodents – although if you’ve ever seen them outside your office window, they are pretty amusing to watch. “Squirrels” are those little distractions that seemingly pop up out of nowhere, completely derailing your ability to work.

You can be working, minding your own business, when poof! A squirrel arrives to distract you. Then another appears. And another. And another! Pretty soon, you forget what you were working on in the first place.

Squirrels come in all different shapes and sizes. A squirrel could come in the form of a team member sharing a crazy story in the break room. Maybe it’s an email notification popping up that your Amazon order has shipped. Perhaps the business renting out a nearby suite is doing construction. Squirrels are a part of everyday life, and you have to learn how to squash them when they inevitably arrive.

So, how do you deal with squirrels? Grab yourself a hammer.

It’s important to find ways throughout the day to eliminate squirrels when necessary. Put your alerts on “do not disturb” for certain periods. Buy a white noise machine for your office. Set specific times for when you can check your email. The better systems you have in place, the easier it will be for you to deal with squirrels as they arrive.

Being a leader is hard but staying focused is even harder. When you see a squirrel, grab your trusty hammer – or your cruelty-free, humane trap – and eliminate the distraction so you can focus on what truly matters.


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