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The Father of Our Country Didn’t Like Interruptions

Ron Chernow, discussing his outstanding biography of George Washington, recently mentioned how important “focus” was for our first president. Chernow said that at the beginning of his presidency, “[Washington] couldn’t seem to sit down for dinner without 20 people being there—strangers sponging off his generosity, eating his food, drinking his wine. Washington had to create barricades if he was going to be able to function as president. . . . He saw that he needed to carve out some kind of zone of sanity or privacy just so that he could work without constant interruptions.”   I’ve read research that indicates that when we’re interrupted from a task, it often takes as much as 40 minutes to get back to that same level of focus. It doesn’t take many of those interruptions to completely destroy an entire day.

Maybe a lack of talent, passion, or determination isn’t the reason you haven’t achieved your goal. Maybe it’s simply too many interruptions.

What are you doing to “create barricades” around your life as George Washington did?

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philcooke@churchleaders.com'
Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California (cookepictures.com)where he helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."