How many times have you been distracted from your work on important activities and tasks by random ideas and thoughts?
These can be super-valuable ideas that you don’t want to lose but you also don’t want to be distracted from the task at hand! Robert Rodriguez (in Tribe of Mentors) calls these disruptive, yet potentially valuable ideas, Random Thought Missiles!
A Random Thought Missile can complete vaporize your focus on important tasks at hand. It can be disheartening when you block time in your calendar, shut off your phone, block out all electronic distractions, only to be interrupted and taken off track by these random thoughts.
Even as I sit down to write this post, my “deep work” thought process is constantly under attack by ideas for future posts, potential customer contacts, project delivery enhancements, and 100 other ideas. I cannot possibly investigate all these things and write the blog post at the same time!
So, what is the solution? How can you productively intercept and capture a Random Thought Missile without vaporizing your “deep work” focus and without losing the value that the random thought may contain?
How to Deal with Random Thought Missiles
The best solution that I have found to these disruptive yet powerful ideas is extremely simple!
Create a list in a notebook or on your smart device and call it Random Thought Missile List. Have this list readily available prior to starting any task that requires your undivided attention. Once you begin your task and you are inevitably interrupted by a Random Thought Missile, simply record the thought on your list and immediately return back to your focused task.
Once your task is complete, then you can reference your Random Thought Missile List and pick any of these topics to focus on in more detail.
This approach definitely takes discipline but it is the simplest and most effective way I have found to deal with these interruptions.
Go ahead and build your Random Thought Missile List today and implement this into your daily practice. Pass this along to your peers and your staff.
Finally, take a look at these articles for more details:
- Deep Work
- 88 Powerful Lessons from Influential Leaders
- The Secret to Being Excellent
- Predictable Success
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” James Allen
Leave a comment below on your technique for dealing with random, distracting, but potentially valuable thoughts.
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