Tip Drill: Distraction, the silent fantasy killer

In the tradition of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book we introduce to you "Tip Drill" - a quick-hit fantasy football tip, brought to you five times a week until the summer ends I run out of them. We're not looking to do calculus here, or invent acronyms - it's meant to be a drive-thru. We'll discuss deeper themes in other areas. Can't use today's tip? Come back tomorrow. Don't need tomorrow's tip? Catch you next week. Don't like any of them? Hope you're in a few of my leagues.

I take a quick survey around my office and I see two satellite-linked TVs, one DVD player, a cell phone, a PC, a laptop, an iPod filled with kick-ass songs, two sets of headphones, an overflowing bookcase and about 100 Sports Illustrateds from the 1970s. And one very confused dog. And a bunch of Scrabble words I'm supposed to be studying.

Today's secret word is: distraction.

We're smack-dab in the middle of the BlackBerry Generation and the rules are different. We juggle 3-4 tasks in the car on our way to work (well, you do - I just stumble out of bed and take about 10 steps). We're reachable via email 24/7. We log onto the internet and delve into five different tasks at once. We get used to the constant bombardment of our senses. Mind you, our efficiency and productivity suffer, but we get through it, somehow.

Distraction is a silent fantasy killer, amigos. And it's time we started taking it seriously.

My own personal Distraction Olympics hit a tipping point last Sunday, when I decided it would be a jolly-good idea to write and edit Closing Time while I balanced a fantasy football auction (with some random email hits thrown in). The C/T didn't really suffer, but my auction was a mess. And with that, I've had enough. Time to get control of this problem.

Let's get down to brass tacks. You've got fantasy drafts and auctions coming up, and how you fare for those few hours will greatly influence how well you do this fall, and even how much you enjoy the game. Do yourself a favor and try to get through the experience without checking your email, without monitoring your stocks, without a side-blog or poker game going on, without other projects. Tunnel vision. Give yourself the best chance to succeed. The wonderful distractions of the internet can wait.

I dare you to take the Pianow Challenge and draft with one window open this summer (I'll allow a second window if it's for draft-related research). Email, the Colorado box score, pictures from your cousin's wedding, that all can wait. Let's focus on one task and knock it out of the park. Who's with me?

Draft like a champion today.

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