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Do You Ever Get Sidetracked?

· Business Advice

I love anything to do with trains. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been thrilled at the site of an oncoming diesel freight train and all of its classic sights and sounds ... the distant headlight and that distinct rumbling/whining engine sound that gets ever louder as the train approaches, the ear-piercing horn blasts as the engine nears a road crossing, and the rhythmic clickety-clack of the freight cars as they pass by blowing wind in your face.

As a youngster, I always looked forward to visiting my grandmother who lived just a few hundred yards away from what used to be a very active double-track mainline.  Today, sadly, only a single track remains.

When one freight passed by, that was great. When two passed going opposite directions? Even better! The sights and sounds were totally awesome!

One thing I recall the double mainline didn’t have was a turnout on that particular stretch of track.  As the trains passed by, there was no way for them to get diverted to a siding or spur.  They just kept moving forward at high-speed, getting ever closer to their destinations with each passing second.

Distracted? ... try visualizing a fast-moving freight train

Whenever I find myself tempted to get diverted or distracted—off focus from the task at hand to check email, catch up on the latest news on the Internet or grab a cup of coffee—I quickly recall visions of seeing those freight trains whizzing along on their mainline tracks near my grandmother’s house.

Those trains couldn’t afford to get sidetracked.  They had a vitally important job to do.  They had to stay focused.  It was critical that they stay on track.  Otherwise, we all know what would happen . . . a massive train wreck!

So the next time you have an important job to do or task to carry out, visually think of a fast-moving freight train heading in one direction to its destination.

No sidings to worry about. No spurs to cause it to wander down the wrong track. Just one purpose and one purpose only ... to stay on track until your job or task is successfully finished.

If that won’t keep you focused as you head down the track to your destination, nothing will!

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