Everyone knows the story of Helen Keller. She was born blind and deaf. She became a student of Annie Sullivan and devoted herself completely to scholarship. By the time she was 16 she passed the Harvard University examination inLatin, German and French history. Mark Twain called her the most fascinating person of the 19th century.
Mark Twain said: “I am filled with wonder about her knowledge, acquired because shut out from all distractions.”
Distractions are everywhere. They’re like millions of angry birds flying across the vast, open skype. We are treated to an endless cacophony of connectivity. I-Pads, smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, farmville, television. We are told that these devices offer an opportunity to work smarter and faster. Some of that is true.
But mostly these are distractions. We use them as entertainment and escape.
So my resolution is to get back to the 80/20 rule. I read a great book last month called The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch.
The premise is that 80 percent of our achievement is accomplished in 20 percent of the time we spend working. The other 80 percent of time working accomplishes about 20 percent of our achievement. The author has some revolutionary thoughts.
I’ve always believed in the notion that I need to “make something happen.” The author cautions that taking action just for the sake of creating activity is a waste. Your time would be better spent thinking and creating before you act.
It’s about minimizing distractions and honing in on the things that really matter. So that is my New Year’s resolution. Work smarter. Cut down on the distractions. Focus.