Reading time: 4 minutes
Distractions. Have they ever happened to you?
There you are happily working on a task, or listening to something important, or reading, when suddenly you lose your train of thought. Before you know it, distractions have taken over and you’ve totally lost sight of everything you intended to do.
No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get yourself to tune out the world of distractions and continue onward with your task.
Distractions are nothing more than an agent designed to steal your valuable time. The world is filled with people that abandoned a greater task destined to make them ‘great in life’ because of their inability to focus and get the job done.
I bet you know what I mean.
Have you ever abandoned some task because you were easily distracted, either by some noise or sound, or other thoughts creeping into your mind and you ended up saying something like “I don’t think this is the right time to do this” or “I will do it when it feels right.”
The question is when is the right time? Moreover, you won’t find the right time to get this thing done. Ever!
Are you experiencing distractions? I bet you are, but the real question is are you ready to get yourself ‘unstuck.’
Before we begin, let’s talk about the mistake people make when they’re being distracted.
The most common mistake
Most of the time, people mistake being distracted for procrastination. Here’s what I mean.
Think about someone who arranges a block of time to work on a task, say 30 minutes, upon starting, he works for only 10 minutes and what happens next? Something else grabs his attention, perhaps a movie or some conversation, then he suspends the current task for the new one.
Some people might say he’s a procrastinator, but that’s not true, the bitter truth is, that fellow just got distracted.
I won’t belabor the point, but before we go any further, you have to understand that I’m not trying to be cute; there is a point to be made.
Procrastination is when we don’t complete a decision we have made, while distraction is to cut off in the middle of an important task or to wander off when doing something important.
You just have to understand the one you need to diagnose, so you can understand the reason for doing the things you do.
If you want to free yourself from distractions, here are the 4 things you need to take care off.
1. Your thoughts
Thought is the first stumbling block that causes people to become distracted.
Think about the last time you were working on a task, or listening to an important event, and then suddenly, thoughts begin to flow in, disconnecting you from your world and taking you to their own world.
Little by little, your attention begins to drift; it’s just like flipping a page and before you know it, you are lost in thought.
Most people, don’t know how to deal with such a situation, and end up without completing the task they were working on.
The solution is learning how to return to the present without self-judgement. Let me explain.
Before you start doing any task, admit to yourself that somewhere, at some point, your thoughts will try to take control of the situation and your job is not to suppress the thought, your job is to simply become aware of that thought, then slowly return to the present moment and continue moving your task forward.
Try it now and see how less distracted you will become.
2. Switching focus
This means trying to do two tasks at the same time. For example:
You’re reading a book, and you find another one worth reading, then you immediately switch to it, leaving the first one uncompleted, please oh please, don’t do this.
Research has proven that our brain tends to be healthier and more active, whenever we complete a task before starting another one.
You also have to begin to follow this practice, make sure you complete a task before moving to the next one; make a promise to yourself today, that you will never leave a task uncompleted before moving to the next one.
Our feelings are the third thing that cause distractions. Most of the time, perhaps in the middle of working on a task, some negative feelings begin to flow in, which can easily disconnect us from the current task.
The truth is our feelings deceive us quite a bit.
You’ve probably heard the story of how Isaac was deceived when he gave blessings to Jacob, who was disguised as Esau, but continued to give his blessing nevertheless.
Learn how to focus on facts instead of feelings. Whenever you’re trying to get something done, make a solemn promise to yourself that you will focus on the facts no matter how you’re feeling.
Before we end this meeting of minds, we ought to think for a moment about attention. Most of the times, when we want to do something important; it is the same time that other things begin seeking our attention.
For example: A call from a friend, a message from social media, or someone looking for us to do something for them, and so much more.
The good news is that we can choose what we will give our attention to and say no to the rest, at least for that moment.
Learn how to use your willpower and make a strong resolution that never again will you give your attention to something that distracts you from working on an important task.
You can make life a lot easier for yourself by finding a place where you are not available to anyone when working on the things that matter to you. You can start right now by switching off your phone and any other distraction and go there with the tools you need to get the job done.
Sound good? I sure think so!
Start putting all this to use in your life today and nothing will ever have the power to distract you again.
Encourage one another.