One of the classic animated movies that entertains all ages is “UP.”  Although the main character is a young boy, the mature themes are deep with emotion. It has greatly impacted my life. But, not as you might think.  One word, spoken by the dog, Dug, has become my buzz word and conscious warning. In the midst of Dug’s steady stream of passionate words he suddenly stops, turns to the side, following a scent and says ‘Squirrel.” He looks frozen in time but only for a few seconds. He then returns to his flow of words with his tongue hanging out dripping with slobber.

Focusing on one thing for an extended period of time has always been challenging for me. Stimuli are everywhere. Walking through a potential seller’s home I can get distracted by art work or titles of books on shelves instead of only seeing the minimal, bare bones and condition. In casual conversations, it is not uncommon to cover a dozen topics, randomly returning to each within a thirty-minute period. Staying on task while researching information online is also challenging. Each time I find myself veering off the path I say “SQUIRREL.” (I even freeze for a few seconds sometimes. Call it a “dramatic pause.”) Then I get back to the task at hand.

squirrelSo, I’m wondering if you have a squirrel gun. Do you? How do you keep the “squirrels” from getting you off track or out of focus?

My ammunition that works is simple:

  • have a plan
  • set a time limit
  • stick to the plan
  • make no exceptions (which is one of the main points I learned from a book by C John Miller…”SQUIRREL”)

This system works best with PURPOSE and PASSION. The plan is clear because I know the desired end result and the execution of the plan is motivated by passion.

So, my silver bullets are PURPOSE, PASSION AND PLAN. What’s in your arsenal?