Distraction is, in fact, the same thing as focus

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Distraction, used intentionally, can be an asset. The same result as losing a night of sleep. Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we're getting more done.

Listen fully to people’s concerns.Repeat back what you hear them saying and ask if you got it right.Share your perspective.Check for their understanding, not their agreement.You want to make sure they hear your view.This is the critical step to moving them through the transition to the other side.If you’ve performed steps 1 and 2 effectively, you’re done.I knew Sophia was going to class, so I needed to move her out of contemplating the change and into living it as quickly as possible.I should have hugged her and left.She cried for the first few minutes of class, her ski teacher told me at pick up, but then she was fine.I knelt down to Sophia and asked her how she liked it.She stared at me intently, looking angry, like she was about to cry again.We stayed like that for several seconds, looking at each other without saying anything.Her face remained stern.Then she broke into a wide smile.It was fun, she said, and fell into my arms.When you shorten transition time, you create a boundary that helps you and others adjust to a new reality.Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my family and the time we spend together.And that includes stuff like changing diapers and putting groggy kids back to bed at four in the morning.Fun or not, I treasure it.Still, vacation makes me anxious because I know I’ll feel torn.Some will accuse me of being a workaholic.But it’s not just that, and it’s not just me.We live in a world in which we’re expected to be available all the time for almost any reason.Worse, we expect it from ourselves.Leashed to our technology, we find it harder to spend an unadulterated moment doing anything.Forget about vacation.How about a short break in conversation?We quickly check our email.A walk from one office to another?Sure, we might say we have no choice.It makes us feel busy.Unfortunately, there’s a downside to feeling indispensable.And going on vacation brings that downside up.Two years ago, after ten years of running my company, I took a month off and went to France with my family.As I prepared to leave, I spoke with each of my clients, letting them know I’d be away.It’ll be okay, he said.And we’ll replace you. Then he laughed.I laughed, too, and then quickly added, Of course, you know I’ll be reachable if you need me.Ah, there’s the rub.Reachable if needed.And while I find this close to impossible to do unless I am forced, it was a wonderful break.The first half of the messages all raised problems that needed to be resolved, and the second half were the same people telling me not to worry about the first half because they had resolved the problems on their own.Still, for some of us, unplugging completely might not be realistic.Of course, before you schedule the time, you need to admit to yourself that you will work during the vacation.But setting aside some time to work means you’re setting aside the rest of the time to not work.And that just might save your vacation.Scheduling specific time to take care of emails and phone calls each day avoids the technology creep that takes over so much of our lives.It allows us to concentrate on a single thing for longer without getting interrupted.Everyone will be relieved.Thankfully, when I came back from my month away, Ross’s company had not regressed.They didn’t forget me, and they didn’t replace me.Next time, when I leave for vacation, I’m sure I