Hartlett endured a tumultuous AFL off-season, when he was shopped around last October and considered leaving the club.
But the 26-year-old says his decision to stay has gifted him greater clarity about his AFL career.
“That all unfolded over a month or two,” Hartlett said.
“As soon as I had made my decision to stay here and put it behind me, the focus was entirely on the upcoming season – how I can get better individually, how I can help improve the team and build relationships that way.
“That decision that was made a while ago doesn’t impact me whatsoever.”
Hartlett’s decision to stay at Port has been followed by a shift from the midfield to a half-back. And the 128-gamer couldn’t be more content.
“When you play in the midfield, the expectation is you hustle and bustle in the contest, then run out and spread,” he said.
“It’s something that probably didn’t suit me aerobically really well.
“Whereas at half-back, I can go flat out for an effort or two and once the ball is out of the area I can chill out a little bit and gather my thoughts and go on for the next contest.”
The positional move paid instant dividends with Hartlett an influential performer in Port’s upset away win against Sydney last Saturday.
The Power were rank outsiders entering the clash but Hartlett said his club, like himself, were experiencing a feeling of calm.
“There is a calm feeling around the footy club at the moment, in that if we do what we should do week-in week-out, then we’ll be fine,” he said.
“The key for us this year is things have just been simplified pretty significantly. We have got three or four core things that we need to focus on from week-in week-out.
“And we know that if we get those things right against any opposition, any ground, any conditions, that it will hold us in really good stead.
“Doing those things consistently is the next big step for us because we haven’t done that for a couple of years.”
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