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Tips for Lawyers: How to Eliminate Office Distractions

Did you ever notice how a teenagers can focus on video games so intently, an earthquake couldn't shake their attention?

Or how about those basketball players who make free throws while 20,000 fans scream and wag those monster fingers at them? It's called focus, and you need some of that in your law practice.

So let's talk about eliminating distractions at work. We're going to take a couple of pages from the video game and basketball playbooks.

Video Game Focus

No, video games will not help avoid distractions at the office. Actually, studies say that young men waste about 25 to 50 hours a year of their working time playing video games.

If anything, you need to put away the toys at the office where the kid in you won't play with them. There is a lesson to be learned from video-gamers, however.

When you really get into something, everything else seems to fade into the background. Whether it's tinnitus or heavy metal ringing in your ears, there's a zone where you can be alone with your thoughts.

Go there. The only thing really stopping you is procrastination, not distractions. If it helps, turn off the music, clear your desk, and close the door.

Basketball Concentration

Even when everybody in the stands is screaming to make them miss, the best basketball players make free throws 90 percent of the time. That kind of efficiency does not come from a college education; it comes from practice.

It helps to have a workspace where you can go through your routines. Maybe a beverage before beginning, a yoga stretch or a silent prayer -- whatever gets your mental muscles ready to perform.

If you need dead quiet to do your job, put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Or if you are working at home, put your phone on silent.

With some practice, you'll be able to drown out those distractions by flipping the switch in your brain. It won't be that the distractions went away, but your capacity to focus will have improved.

And if you have a little time left over, then you can play that basketball video game.

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