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As I started writing this week’s blog post, the police rang the bell.

I stood up from my desk and saw them waiting outside.

What’s going on?, I thought.

Since then, it took me five days to get back to writing again.

One thing you need to know to understand what came afterward is this:

I love being productive, and I hate anything that makes my family unsafe.

Productivity depends highly on our internal feeling of safety.

Business success depends on productivity.

Not the kind of hard-working-long-hours-productivity though.

Business success depends on short-term focused productivity followed by hours of random thoughts that allow for creativity.

The problem comes when random thoughts spin around your mind during the time you were supposed to be focused.

And that’s what happened to me.

So, I opened the door, and I was asked to identify myself.

Something was wrong.

Someone had been messing with the part of the street outside our door.

From that moment onward and for a full five days, I had to look outside my window almost every two minutes to check if someone was nearby.

I needed to pay attention in case someone was touching anything around our property.

I even turned my desk so that I can look towards the street all the time.

As I was working, every minute or two, my attention went away, checking the street.

Two hours after starting working, I was already exhausted.

Constantly refocusing takes a lot of time and energy.

I started asking myself:

Why am I allowing an outside condition to define my productivity?

How can I change this?

The answer turns out to be just a simple sensor that activates a red light next to my desk.

A simple solution, but now, I could focus again.

And that made me think:

What else takes my focus away every day?

I took a simple piece of paper, and every time my attention went away, I wrote down what I was thinking.

I noticed that most of the times, it was the same three-four thoughts again and again.

But something magical happened.

As I started writing those thoughts, they stopped appearing in my head.

Also, I realized that some of my constant distractions could be easily fixed.

My day became so much easier.

My productivity skyrocketed, and I managed to get much more work done during the day.

Since then, I keep finishing my work on average one hour earlier. 

I invite you to do the same thing.

Today, take a simple piece of paper, and a pencil. Every time you find yourself distracted, write down in one-two sentences what’s in your mind. At night, check what appeared most times and ask yourself: How can I eliminate that, or just make it appear less often? I would love to read how you decided to eliminate or reduce some distractions in your day. Did you already do something similar in the past? Please share it below. Hopefully, it can help others that deal with the same situation.

Which choice will bring better problems?

Dimitris Bronowski

CEO Open Circles Academy