Distractions are the downfall of many goals and dreams. There are so many things that are competing for our attention. I heard someone say there is a war going on for our attention. Almost every mobile app wants to be a social network now and advertisements are getting more aggressive all the time. Add to this the TV shows that switch the camera shot every six seconds so that we become addicted to watching. Video games have also started to include features that make them addictive such as constant alerts and time based events.
In the absence of goals it is very easy to fill up our lives with activities that are fun but do not move us any closer to them. We become oddly addicted to these activities and they squeeze out our focus and time for working on goals related tasks. Even at work it is a series of constant interruptions. Email messages now popup in front of our current tasks and calendar events can easily fill up most of the day and usually accomplish very little. When do we have time to get things done? We typically have very little time for activities that actually make a big difference in our lives.
We can master distractions in several ways. The first way is by protecting your most productive hours of the day. Early morning until about noon is when we can focus on tasks and activities at our highest level. We must be protective of this time period by shifting activities that don’t require a high degree of focus to later in the day. Email is a prime example. If you are like me the first thing I did in the morning was sort through email. This process could take a couple of hours and could lead to several various other tasks. By the time the process was finished my mornings were mostly over. By shifting email to just before lunch I can reserve my mornings for important projects and tasks.
A second way to remove distractions is to stop doing things that fill your time and produce little. Watching TV at night is a prime example. This can consume many hours each week and the negative effects of most TV shows will degrade your attitude. TV shows have become violent, greed based, and most characters are terrible roles models. There are excepts to this but spending lots of time in front of the TV will almost guarantee your goals will not be achieved. This time could be better spent focusing on your goals, making contacts, and performing critical thinking.
By Joe Parker
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