This is Step 6 – Get Rid of Distractions in the blog series, 21 Days of Focus. (There are links to the prior steps at the end of this post.)
Distractions can keep us from our goals and dreams, so we need to get rid of distractions in order to focus. We live in a world where we are connected to technology. It seems everyone is glued to their smart phones. I’m not sure how smart that is!
Part of the reason I left the corporate work force was the “work” seemed to consist of endless, unproductive meetings and responding to never ending emails. I was in a sales and management position, which meant that I was responsible for creating revenue results. I couldn’t create sales if I was in meetings or on my email all day and not in front of customers.
I have always worked from a place of high integrity and follow-up. So, I always feel the need to respond immediately. Until I ventured out on my own, I didn’t realize what a distraction email was. In the corporate world I was always responding immediately to bosses. Well, I don’t have a boss now. I’m the boss!
Between social media invites and non-business emails, it is easy to get distracted. It also feels like you’re working when it’s really masquerading as being busy. A good question to ask is what am I busy about?
Recognize What Distracts You
I don’t check email any more until late morning. Also, I can be pretty chatty with people. It’s just the way that I am wired, to have deep meaningful connections. But that means I have to guard my time and my conversations so that I don’t lose my focus.
If you find you don’t have enough time to pursue your dreams, take a time inventory. Become hyper conscious of your actions. In my world, I am not on a salary any longer. If I am not participating in revenue-generating activities, I can’t cover the many costs involved to fund the work that God has called me to do.
When you feel the need to text, is it that important this minute? Email, texting and social media are all wonderful tools. Make sure you are using the tools and they are not using you.
How much time are you chit chatting? Start paying attention to where you are spending your time.
A good exercise is to write down when you start an activity and how long it takes to finish it. We so often over estimate how much we can do and under estimate how long it takes to complete a task. It can sometimes take WAY longer to complete something.
Here are Three Questions to Ask When Distraction Strikes
If you find yourself getting distracted, pause and ask these questions:
Is this activity part of my plan?
Is this an action step on my to-do list today?
Is this the most productive thing I can do at this moment?
I think you’ll be amazed at how easy it can be to be distracted. It’s all about focus!
This will bring us to Step 7 – Review your Plan at the End of the Day
Step 1 – You Have to Have a Plan
Step 4 – Focus on Your Strengths
Step 5 – Meditate or Think on your Plan
Step 6 – Get rid of Distractions
Until next time…. Stay focused!