The Blind Side

One of the peculiarities in sport is how so much of it is based around tactics involving disrupting your opponents flow or concentration.

A fielding team  will chat to the batter at the crease(aka sledging) to impact concentration.  That one moment could affect 6 or 7 hours of effort with a few choice words.

Tennis players will change pace and spin on the ball to disrupt an opponent’s rhythm or even change tactics mid game.

Golfers get frustrated by slow play, sometimes deliberately, by their playing partners.  Even tougher when weather means a break in play.

Footballers tackle to break up a player’s momentum, pull shirts, obstruct and slow the pace of game to frustrate a team.  In fact, most teams set up to impose themselves on the game whilst disrupting their opponent’s ability to do the same.

It’s probably why I don’t enjoy watching ‘American’ football – the whole sport is created around the principle of interruptions – called TV advertising. I find it tedious.  There’s no flow, no momentum.  It’s so stop-start it’s frustrating.

A whole sport built around what TV executives want rather than what’s best for the fans who’ve paid money to watch it live. No thanks.

It’s interesting though.  How many of us allow those external influences to dictate the rhythm in our days. They’re not called TV executives but staff, email, social media.

Rather than imposing our routine and momentum on our days, we allow others to interrupt us, disrupting any chance of achieving the important things because we’re blind sided by tackles we don’t expect.

So what?

Well, refocusing after an interruption can take anything from 6 – 24 minutes.  Let’s call it 15 minutes on average.

If you’re tackled even just twice an hour, you’re losing up to 30 minutes an hour of flow time.

It’s a wonder we get anything done, at all.

Keeping hold of your rhythm, your agenda is vital if you’re going to be productive.

Allowing others to dictate the rhythm gives them the ability to control your time, your effectiveness and ultimately your ability to achieve the goals and purpose you desire.

Turn it all off, find some quiet space and focus on what’s important for you, not what’s perceived as important for others.

I’d love to know your tools for dealing with interruptions – let me know!


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