Each day we experience a barrage of different types of interactions that seek our attention and time. They come in the form of people, emails, phone calls, social media, interesting articles, books, videos, and so on. They take our attention away from the things we want to do or accomplish.
Two things to remember when this happens.
First, if you recognise that you are distracted, this means you have goals or things you would like to be doing. This is a good thing (not the distracions, but the fact you have goals or dreams). When this happens try to pause in the moment and write down what it is you are being distracted from. And be as specific as you can (don’t write, ‘I want to spend more time with family. Instead write, I want to have dinner with my family tonight). Do this for a week and then see if you notice any trends in what you are being distracted from. This may help you determine what you’d like to focus on.
Secondly, as you go try each morning to ask yourself, what is one thing I can do today that I feel is important. Yes, just one thing, not 2 or 5 or 10 things, just one thing. Set a reminder in your calendar, on your phone, or put a post it where you’ll see it. Do this in the morning, at lunch time, and at 5pm. A simple reminder to break through the distractions.
As a bonus, consider printing out and hanging in a promninent place these words – Is what I’m about to do a step toward or away from what’s important?
Distractions mean you feel like you are not doing the ‘work’ you would like to do. They are a signal or signpost. And like all signposts, the signpost is not the important bit, it is what they are pointing to that is.