There are a surprising number of problems that we can solve by not seeking the deeper cause, but by simply treating the symptom. Take procrastination, for example. In some sense you may be putting off doing something because of some Freudian conflict with your parents, but this can be made irrelevant. Figure out not why you procrastinate, but how. Keep a list: rearrange office supplies, clean the house, surf the internet, so on. Then when you catch yourself doing one of these activities stop and get back to work. That’s it.

Similarly, while you are working, if you find yourself distracted by other things you need to remember or do, write them down in a list. Often, writing them down will purge them temporarily and allow you to focus on what is at hand. Write it and forget it, at least for the moment.

Finally, while poet T.S. Eliot said that we are distracted from distraction by distraction, management guru Peter Drucker said that focus is the key to success. A simple trick to getting back on task once distracted is to take a moment to leave a marker. You are reading something. The phone rings. Place a sticky note next to where you were.

Author's Bio: 

Tad Waddington says he achieved literacy while getting his MA from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School where he focused on the history of Chinese religions. He achieved numeracy while getting his PhD from the University of Chicago in measurement, evaluation and statistical analysis. He achieved efficacy as Director of Performance Measurement for Accenture. He is currently seeking to achieve a legacy with such books as Return on Learning and Lasting Contribution. To find out more, go to