In this movie, Costner played a baseball pitcher (imagine that), and each time he would prepare to pitch, he would say out loud "Clear the Mechanism." Instantly, the crowd would be silenced...at least in his head. Once cleared, he was able to focus on the one thing he needed to do: pitch strikes. The rest of the movie is a bit of a blur, but this concept of making a deliberate decision to remove all distractions stuck. It is, in my opinion, a great tool for the many of us that find it challenging to commit ourselves to one thing and one thing only.
While I don't use this specific term, I have begun to use the theory when I feel like I have too many things going on at the same time. My phrase is "24 hours." I will literally say it out loud to remind myself that I am choosing to handle only what is in front of me for the next 24 hours; all other decisions will have to wait. In other words, I can only handle one day at a time.
Not only has this tool given me permission to set aside things that can wait, it also works to express where I am at to others. When I am in the midst of what seems like a million tasks and someone needs something, I can tell them right away that I can only handle decisions that need to be made today. While some may wish differently, no one can argue that it isn't reasonable.
This week is a perfect example: I am moving from one house to another, getting my kids off to their first day of school, and heading to Haiti on a mission trip in less than 2 weeks. Oh, and of course, working in between. And I promise you, clearing the mechanism is the only thing keeping me sane!
How do you clear the mechanism?