Today I stopped by my office to print something. College campuses, if you’re not tenured faculty teaching summer courses, are empty (but happy) places. There was a large group of youngsters on the floor next to my office making a lot of noise. I walked past, let myself into my office, then made sure to close the door behind me. I sat down at my computer and began searching for files, typing things, and checking my email. When I finished about 20 minutes later, I gathered my things and left. I then discovered when I stepped outside that they had gone. I had not noticed when they left because I was focused on completing the task at hand. My point: be so focused on your goals that whatever noise you hear outside does not disturb the work you’re doing on the inside. You’ll look up, be finished, and would have never been disturbed by a single external discouragement, obstacle, or noise.