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Can I Have Your Attention? by Jonathan McKee, Curt Steinhorst

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Chapter 9The Vault

Remember writing term papers in college? Maybe you were responsible and started a week or so prior to the due date. Or maybe you pounded it out the day before the deadline. Everyone has a system (if we can call procrastination a system).

My question is: Where did you typically write your papers?

Your dorm room?

The library?

Starbucks?

It always intrigues me where people go when they really need to concentrate and get something accomplished. When that term paper is due, most students flee their normal surroundings and seek a spot without distractions. They probably populate their favorite coffee shop, drowning out their environment with headphones.

Where do you go today?

As I write this, I'm sitting in my backyard. It has a small covered patio with plush outdoor furniture, and my favorite chair faces a perimeter of trees and a manicured lawn. When serious work needs to get done, this is where I sit.

It's early, so the Dallas heat hasn't set in. Some traffic noise reaches me, but mostly all I hear are birds and the occasional bark of my neighbor's dog. The only distraction is a squirrel scurrying around an oak in search of food.

My phone is in the house. In an emergency, my wife will get me. Otherwise, the only message that could reach me would have to come from a carrier pigeon.

The backyard patio is my vault. I'll get more done here in an hour than most of my colleagues will accomplish all day.

Modern workplaces don't provide quiet places of concentration. As ...

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