Staying Focused in Hard Times

This morning, I took my dog Chutney to our local doggy park. It’s been snowing here in Boston and unfortunately for Chutney, her owners have been feeling a lot less motivated to take her out lately. While she doesn’t have quite the behavioral problems that are afflicting the yellow lab in the movie Marely and Me, it is very obvious that she is much better behaved when she gets attention. We have a much better time together when I am able to really focus on her.

Today, we were the only ones out on the field so there were no other dogs around to distract Chutney (or engage her, depending on your perspective). As soon as we got there, she couldn’t wait to get off leash and start running and running. I wasn’t distracted by other dog owners and kept focused on her. And to my delight, she came when called and was generally very well behaved.

It was a good reminder of the importance of staying focused. In our crazy 24/7 world of cell phones and blackberries, it is easy to think we can multi-task and get more done in less time. In truth, we accomplish more when we stay focused on one task at a time and do that well. This is particularly true when we are communicating with other people. No one likes to feel that they are only getting 50% of your attention because you are composing a text message. It is even more important to remember this in hard economic times when we all need more support from each other.

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