I just practiced a lesson I’ve taught many times in the past with very positive results. It is the lesson on the value of focus. You see, I was asked to develop a book proposal on QuietSpacing(tm) for a very well-known publishing company. In addition to being flattered they even asked, I was excited that QuietSpacing(tm) appears be gaining a significant amount of mind-share.
When I sat down to draft the proposal, I found myself flitting about with excitement that I was actually doing just that – producing a proposal to publish my book! WooHoo!! Go baby go! Well, after about 15 minute of that I was still staring at a white screen in Word. Thankfully, I have resources and tools at my disposal for getting things done. Here’s what I did.
The Mechanics of Focusing
- Cleared the Busy Work. I gathered up all the niggly little things in my viewfinder for today and powered through them or moved them off to another day (and out of my Designed Work Area).
- Closed the Door and Put the Phone on Do-Not-Disturb. My message was simple to me and to others. Quiet please. Busy person trying to get something done.
- Played Ambient Music. I firmly believe ambient music puts you in the right frame of mind for productivity. I read once that Baroque did too, but I prefer ambient music.
- Created an Outline. Fortunately, the editor who contacted me provided me with a framework. However, if you don’t have one, create one.
- Moved Through the Process One Step at a Time. I constructed each section of the proposal as a whole thought, then moved on to the next section. If I needed a break, I left the office. But, when I returned, it was back to a closed door and silent phone. Oh, and I did NOT check e-mail during these breaks for fear of being thrown off track.
I developed a complete picture of what I was doing. With my surroundings “quieted” and my mind focused on a single task, I found that my messaging became very clear and very full-bodied. All the thoughts and discussions I’d had about QuietSpacing(tm) over the years crystallized into a series of thoughtful and complete descriptions of what the book was about, who it would help, how it would help them, and how it was different from the other books of its ilk.
There is no way this result could have been achieved during a “normal” day of e-mailing, meetings, coaching, phone conversations, etc. To really take advantage of what may be one the seminal events for QuietSpacing(tm), I had to create the exact environment the method espouses to achieve the level of responsiveness and effectiveness I needed to be productive.
Cross your fingers for me and the book!