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Most of us wake up to the blaring of an alarm — the first of many noises that will assail our senses during our day.  But noise is more than the sounds that we hear.  Noise, in my mind, is all of those external and internal stimuli that distract us from focusing fully on the task on which we are working.  Notice I did not say “the important” tasks.  I specifically chose “task on which we are working”.

To accomplish all that we can, we need to be able to drown out the noise and focus on the current task.  That’s not easy as the internal and external voices we hear can be very loud.  While we do not want to “live in a vacuum”, we are more effective when we silence the voices and immerse ourselves in the task at hand.

As with all things, extremes are never good.  Drowning out the noise to be able to focus is invaluable.  Drowning out the noise all of the time is a form of sensory deprivation that leads to insanity — we are part of a larger environment and to not interact with that environment would be pure madness.

Our challenge is to decide when the noise is a motivation and when it is a distraction.

With that in mind:

Do you know when it’s time to hear the noise and when it is time to ignore it?

As always, thanks for the time.

(Credit to Ankit Agarwal for motivating this post.)