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Driving up to a speaking event in the Higher Peaks a couple of weeks back, I was reminded of the power of focus.

Let me set the scene. It was early in the morning, around half past six, and freezing cold. Leaving the comfort of well lit, well gritted roads, the route became increasingly narrow and winding.

As the unfamiliar road ascended, a thick, freezing fog came out of nowhere, a pea-souper. Visibility reduced dramatically to around 5 to 10 metres. Suddenly, driving become a real challenge; you simply couldn’t see what was ahead of you and putting headlights on high beam only made matters worse.

I slowed right down and switched off the radio. A high degree of concentration was needed and my senses were already working overtime. It was time to reduce distractions and put my entire focus into the moment, which I’m pleased to say ended successfully with my safe arrival at the destination.

Driving to the office later that morning, I reflected on the experience. One of the things it clearly shows is that when you really need to put your attention to something, the benefits of reducing background noise, brain noise and demands for attention are immense.

As individuals and businesses, we are having to deal with multiple structural changes – political, environmental – and navigating our way through them requires focus.

Focus can take time, energy and, if necessary, a change of location to reduce clutter. It’s no coincidence that the most successful businesses and people I’ve met have been able to stay focused on their goals and objectives by reducing noise and slowing down. A saying I’ve always liked is ‘Many are going nowhere, fast’.

So let my drive into the Peak District be a reminder to stay focused on the things that will deliver your outcomes, with the right economy of effort.

See you out there.
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director,
Brother UK

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