Chapter 2 of the book “The Spark” by Chris “SparkGuy” Downie, is all about “focus” as a cornerstone of his program. He describes a lack of focus as something akin to being stranded in the middle of the ocean without a clear direction in which to paddle to safety. And while I can see how this can be true for some people – after all, every good pilot knows the importance of a flight plan – it is most definitely NOT true in my case.
Oh, I’m not saying that I’m focused. Far from it. In fact, at this moment, I’m absolutely positive that I could not muster the ability to focus a camera set to automatic. And it’s not because I’m surrounded by the Big Blue without a lighthouse in sight. It’s because I’m standing in front of a giant Whack-A-Mole game without a mallet and 5 seconds left before a gaping maw opens beneath my feet and drags me into the abyss. There’s just too many things demanding my attention. And while I realize that much of the clamor stems from my unfortunate tendency to procrastinate, it doesn’t make me feel any better now that I’m down to 2 seconds on the Whack-A-Mole clock.
But all that changes today. Right now. All it takes is a slight attitude adjustment, some organizational skills and an existential de-cluttering. Today I simplify, organize, and re-focus my life. Today, I re-evaluate the Standard Operating Procedures of my existence and distill the highlights into a manageable plan. I do this because not only is today a new day, but every good pilot knows the importance of a checklist, too.