I’m re-reading Alex Ferguson’s book “Leading” at the minute and it’s so good. I’m recommending it to you…

But first a warning. Before you think “I hate Manchester Utd and Alex Ferguson.” Or, “I hate football.” Or, “Seriously Conor, I run an opticians, not a premiership football team.”

Well, I know all that. It’s exactly the reason most people don’t pay attention to anything that doesn’t fall into the perfectly defined, small little box they have created for themselves. And it is exactly the reason why there is so much opportunity for those of us who look at everything with an open mind and eyes wide open SEARCHING for useful things.


To quote Mr. Ferguson “I have yet to encounter anyone who has achieved massive success without closing themselves off from the demands of others. If you have two people of equal talent it will be the way in which they marshal their ability that will determine their eventual success.”

He’s talking about becoming good at shutting out the rest of the world. So that you can focus on improving your company. We live in a world full of distractions. Email. Facebook. Texts. Tweets. Internet. All sorts of distractions are at your fingertips waiting to pounce.

As a business owner you have the added distractions of staff and clients who will suck up exactly as much time as you permit.

The point is this.

How good you are eliminating distractions will determine your eventual success.

Talking from his own perspective Alex says “Distractions exact a heavy toll on individuals and organisations and it demands incredible discipline to keep them at bay.”

My most productive days are the days where email is only done at a scheduled time. Writing is done in the morning for a distraction-free hour. And working ON the business is done AWAY from the business. Away from distractions.

Trying to be productive in an environment full of distractions is like trying to ski uphill in a blizzard. Pay attention to distractions. Then master the art of eliminating them.