It is a Zen Buddhist saying that if you want to reach enlightenment you should “chop wood, carry water”.
And if you want to retain enlightenment you need to, you guessed it, “chop wood, carry water”.
This is an exhortation to do the work that matters for you, and to guard against distractions and anything that will entice you off the path of doing what you need to do.
This philosophy is of even more significance nowadays when you are faced with all types of distractions, notifications, flashing lights, pop ups, and so on on your pc, laptop, and smartphone.
Even if you don’t work in an office you are carrying around a powerful tool in your pocket in the form of your mobile phone which is loaded with powerful interferences and temptations designed to get your attention.
Your attention is vital if you are to do quality work, no matter what the nature of that work is.
And leaving aside your phone and your PC, you face the same problems with TV with its endless choice of programmes courtesy of Netflix, Amazon, Sky, etc. in addition to the regular tv stations.
In addition you may have to battle tablets and ipads, games consoles, and so on.
It is a tough job to have the necessary discipline to attain the stillness and focus required to do difficult work, work requiring thought and attention and focus.
I have a strong view, however, that the person who can attain this stillness and focus sufficient to do quality work consistently and relentlessly will have a massive advantage in achieving outstanding results and outcomes.
I believe a consistent philosophy of “chop wood, carry water” will serve you even better than our predecessors who were concerned with the more basic needs such as food and shelter and water.