The Coyote has an interesting post on Serendipity and Insight. Here is the money quote:
“When you're too attentive to the claims of what you ought to think or do — because it's management orthodoxy, like annual budgets and mission statements; or demanded by trying to be professional and dignified; or based on some preprogrammed mental tape — you not only suck the joy and fun out of life. You saddle yourself and your business with a great deal of useless baggage.”
We’ve all heard the expression “don’t bring your personal problems to work”. You can replace that with “don’t bring irrelevant issues to this task”.
Performers have a saying that has a great deal of relevance in this discussion. A good performer must be “in the room” when delivering a performance. This means that she must be mentally focused on the task at hand and nothing else. A good performer literally becomes the character they are portraying during that performance. They think of nothing else. They are focused on the audience’s perception of them as that character.