MAKING INTENTIONAL CHOICES:
STARVE YOUR DISTRACTIONS AND FEED YOUR FOCUS.
Let’s face it. We all are guilty of succumbing to distractions….
Some days are easier than others to keep distractions at bay. I’ve noticed that I have the most success at staying focused on what is right in front of me and moving toward my goals (not away from them…) when I am being super intentional about every single choice I make.
I know, I know…. shocking, right? It’s all about being INTENTIONAL!
Right now I want you to stop every single thing that you are doing (except reading this blog post, of course…) and recognize distractions for what they are: DISTRACTIONS… in order to keep them in their proper place and NOT give them center stage, letting them take over and steam roller over your productivity and your joy filled life!!!
Distractions as a whole are a huge drain on every aspect of who we are. They take our focus away from what we should be doing – our tasks, goals, and purpose. This is why we have to eliminate them from our lives as much as possible! Personally, I find that if I indulge in a distraction, an hour could go by and before I know it, I’ve blown away an entire block of time that I had meant to be used in another, more purposeful way. Generally, this makes me feel drained and disappointed, not just in myself for having let myself be distracted, but also about the lost opportunities and productive time I could have spent gaining more momentum in my goals and in my life, whether that be in business, in my home, in relationships, or in community.
There is a flip side to this too…. When we succumb to distractions, not only are we affected but, if another person is involved, they are affected too! If Facebook takes up all your time at home, your family is affected; and all the lives that you converse with, they are affected because they might also not be using their time well. If you bombard friends with private message after private message all day long, they are being distracted.
Essentially, a distraction is attractive because of two reasons:
1. It gives us pleasure
2. It takes pain away
When we indulge in a distraction, we focus our time and energy on something that is inherently more pleasurable than what we are currently doing. Solving that problem is hard, so I’ll just surf on Facebook instead, right? Finishing this document is going to take some time, so let me squeeze in 30 minutes on the phone with my friend. Making that call to the customer will be challenging, so let me read the news first. The reason these things are attractive is because they either give us pleasure or take some pain away.
I would like to challenge you to record everything you do in one day and how much time you spend doing it. You can do this tomorrow. As a distraction comes into play, jot down the circumstances surrounding it and how you chose to respond. BE HONEST!!! You might be surprised at just how many distractions are being thrown your way all day long and what is triggering them!
Here is an example for you….
Several years ago, I used to work outside the house, my husband traveled almost every week on business AND we had 5 teenagers under our roof. It was crazy town! Let me set the scene….
I get home from work and I need to get dinner on. I am on my way to the kitchen and one of my kids comes flying downstairs in a panic because he can’t find his keys and he is going to be late for work. I have a choice to make whether his emergency is going to become my emergency, or not.
Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? I used to love those when I was a kid! Here’s my chance to see the different ways this could turn out….
1. I could join his emergency and lose the time I need to get dinner started and then have to just order pizza because I am out of time and my family will eat unhealthy food and I will feel horrible about it.
2. I could say some mean words to him, scolding him for being so careless and continue on with getting dinner going. He will feel horrible about himself by the time he gets to work.
3. I could let him use my keys and no lesson will be learned but the panic will leave my house and I can stay calm.
4. I can prepare some food for him to take with him to work and cheer him on, in finding his keys, while I get dinner ready.
I don’t know about you, but this seriously was real life stuff in my house… daily! One thing I noticed is that the more I chose behaviors that made me feel bad (like giving cutting responses or jumping to every rescue) the more I wanted to spend even more time doing distracting activities because the last thing I wanted to do is dwell on feeling bad about myself. YIKES!!!
You might already know the areas in your life that you have a tendency to be the most distracted by and with. If that is the case, it is time to call the distractions what they are, move forward full speed ahead, and get them out of your way!!!
You need to overcompensate in the areas where you are the most distracted!
What does this look like in real life???
- If Facebook is a distraction, turn off the alerts to your phone.
- If the computer in general is a distraction, turn the parental controls on YOU!
- If people are a distraction, schedule in certain times in your day to answer phone calls, texts, emails, phone calls, etc.
- If YOU are doing all the parenting/watching your kids while your spouse watches TV, make it a point to get out of the house and see friends at least one night a week to give your hubby that father time he needs!
We need to give every aspect of our lives 110% of all we’ve got. We owe it to every single life we come in contact with to be our best and not let these distractions cause us to falter. When we are distracted, our joy gets stolen and it becomes harder and harder to get it back. Things like Facebook, family time, helping a friend, and watching TV are not inherently bad things at all…. But being undisciplined and unintentional about the time we spend on them will not help us on our journey to start living our very best life, while surpassing all of our goals and living our biggest dreams!
Sweet friend... What distractions will you kick to the curb today? I want to hear all about it in a comment below and cheer you on!
All the glitter....