Sometimes Blinders are a Good Thing

In the wild, a horse’s 350 degree field of view is invaluable for avoiding predators. But for domesticated horses, seeing that much at once can cause confusion and alarm.

We’ve developed blinders to help horses stay calm when distractions might otherwise overwhelm and take them off track. Maintaining focus can be hard for humans as well, and we too benefit from basic tools and techniques to help us concentrate. And where we direct our gaze is a large part of where we direct our attention.

Today we’ve included a few googly eyes for you to use as a whimsical tool to hold your focus where it ought to be. For an important video conference via Skype, Google Hangouts, or GoToMeeting, place a pair of googly eyes on or near your webcam. Because our minds are so good at finding faces even when one isn’t really there, anywhere we find a pair of eyes commands our attention. Throughout your long call, let those eyes staring back at you be a reminder of where you should be looking, to maintain proper eye contact.

Googly Mouse

Or, less pragmatically, amuse your friends, family, and coworkers by finding odd objects to anthropomorphize with the addition of these googly, adorable eyes. Just don’t blame us if you find yourself striking up scintillating conversation with your stapler. Or mouse.

Slow down, focus, and don’t put the cart before the horse.

Horses won’t step into a puddle if they can’t tell how deep it is, and we think that’s pretty smart.

We all know we should take the time to examine a situation carefully and measure twice, cutting once. But it takes discipline to keep that level of focus and smarts. Just like horses need a regular routine of exercise, training, food, and grooming, we humans are at our best when we’ve got a well-planned routine that we can fall back on.

We’ve created our own standard processes, culled from great books like The Checklist Manifesto, Getting Things Done, Kaizen, and countless more, and combined and refined them, incorporating them into our internal training curriculum and the Macktez Way.

Our Team, for instance, starts each morning with a review of calendars, messages, emails, and notes to prepare for the day ahead. Reports written in real time over the course of the day help us maintain accurate documentation and informs our clients and fellow Team Members of our projects. Planning sessions and checklists for complex processes help keep our focus on track and avoid oversights as we upgrade servers and backup important data under pressure.

Building these habits takes repetition and discipline, but over the last decade and a half, we’ve found it’s worth it. The routine doesn’t just help us get more done, it helps us minimize stress, so we can save our energy for special, challenging circumstances as they arise.

Coming back to whimsey…

Take a break from your hard work and share with us where you use your googly eyes. The possibilities are endless so impress us, and each other, by finding the cleverest, perfect object to adorn with a pair of eyes. Then take a picture and post it, tag us on Facebook or send a Tweet to us at @macktez. (You can also tag them #googly and join the crowd.) We’ve been having fun and we’d love to see how you use them!

— The Team at Macktez