There’s ‘going through the motions’ and then there’s getting your ‘head in the game’. We lift performance considerably when we apply our full attention to what we are doing. This may sound and obvious and easy, even natural thing to do; but in today’s world, where things pull our attention to and fro, it can be almost counter-intuitive to place all of our attention on the thing we are trying to do.
I know in my own case, I am guilty finding some pleasure in the act of multi-tasking. I can write (as I am doing right now), have something playing on TV, something also playing on my laptop, while carrying out some kind of broken conversation with my wife Melissa … it is fairly easy for me to do this – as I guess it is for most people – and I have to say, most times, the more action going on, the more I like it …
But when we really want to do well, we should invest most or all of our mental faculties on the task at hand. Keeping our head in the game requires, at least in my own case, a certain discipline. My natural state of being is to entertain random and oblique thoughts – (I think my teachers used to call this ‘day-dreaming’) – but I do almost always do better (except when what I am doing requires a certain level of creativity) when I get my head in the game – and keep it there.