It’s one of the biggest wastes of time…
It’s a culprit to blame for not achieving our goals…
Its name? Distraction.
Think about it…
You set out to do something. You take the first step. But before you can take the next step, suddenly there comes a distraction in your way. And you can either choose to 1) spend time and energy on it, or 2) ignore it.
I remember back when I started my cleaning company, there were a lot of distractions that I had to learn to shut out in order to stay focused on what mattered. It was what I had to do if I wanted to grow the business.
What most people don’t realize is there is a way out of distractions.
But it requires us to say “no” and to put sustained focus and effort back into what we were doing before the distraction came up.
And it requires 2 important things: willpower and focus.
Before we dive into this, it’s important to remember that distractions can come in many ways… they can manifest as thoughts, as messy environments, as unfinished to-do lists, as phone calls, or even as people…
Imagine you’re sitting at your desk, getting ready to begin that project you’ve been putting off.
And then suddenly, you are reminded that you forgot to text your friend or client back about something. It wasn’t even important, but your mind is telling you it needs to be done now.
Then what happens? You respond back, and go down a rabbit hole of responding to unread text messages.
You spend the next 20 minutes doing that until you decide you should probably check your email too…
And then by the time you get working on the task at hand, you have less energy, less focus, and you don't have as much time to spend on it, because you have other things going on...
Have you ever been there? I know I have…
Or perhaps you’re getting ready to begin a project and the room you’re working in is disorganized and cluttered and you can’t seem to focus unless things are put away.
Maybe you work from home and your dog is barking at you or your kids or grandkids are over and they’re knocking at the office door, demanding your attention.
Or maybe you’re working at an office with a team, but the noise and chatter around you keeps you from thinking. (It might be time to invest in some headphones…)
Whatever distraction tends to steal the most of your attention, I encourage you to simply write it down.
And then think about what you can do to minimize distractions.
Can you wear headphones with ambient noise to help you focus? Can you put the dog away while you work? Or take him out on a walk before you start that important project? Can you practice meditating once a day to get in the habit of taking better control of your thoughts?
Whatever it is, I want this email to serve as an encouragement to you that perhaps what’s getting in your way is distractions. But you have the power to change that.
Look, I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. And I truly believe that minimizing distractions will make all the difference for you.
Something I’ve implemented into my life is mindfulness and meditation. Boy, oh boy, has it helped me reclaim my thoughts and set aside distractions!
Did you know that the average person can only focus on one task for 40-90 minutes at a time before needing a break of some sort?
And when it comes to uninterrupted focus on one single thought, meditating for as short as 60 seconds can be difficult for someone!
Meditation is one way that helps you to exercise this muscle of focus.
But perhaps it isn’t your thoughts that are getting in the way… maybe it’s your surroundings.
If it’s the work environment you’re in that’s bothering you, ask yourself: is it the noise or disorganization that makes it difficult to concentrate?
If you’re not sure, try altering one of those things. Listen to ambient noise if you have to. Chew gum, or perhaps get a stress ball that you can use when it comes time to think creatively. (Our Team has a bunch of these laying around and I don’t host any event without one!)
Think about it like this. We all face distractions and that’s okay.
But what we do about it matters. Are you going to allow distractions to get in the way of you and your dream, or are you going to minimize them so you can get further faster?
Just some food for thought.