Ditching Distractions and Getting Focused

8 Feb, 2017 Personal Development

Distractions are everywhere.

It’s become quite routine and even expected to wake up, first thing in the morning and reach for your phone, check your email, and maybe even Facebook.

However, when we do so, we discount future gains because we’re so focused on the immediate gratification of information, entertainment or (you guessed it!) distraction.

As adults, many of us business owners or entrepreneurs, we’re no stranger to hard work and long hours– yet, when the chime of a new email interrupts our focus on more important tasks, it’s almost unbearable not to take a peak!

As many of you may know, I just came back from yet another LIFE-CHANGING weekend at “Book Bound By The Sea.” 

And while I could go on and on about everything I learned in just a few short days, I want to share one major takeaway with you.

“Book Bounders” are notoriously ambitious, highly-aspirational individuals— but that’s not all; they’re focused, determined and results-driven.

In other words, they’ve learned to ditch distractions and effectively manage their time.

After just the first day, I thought to myself, 

“Wow– how can I share this message with a wider audience, so more people and authors can really buckle down, eliminate distractions and get focused on writing their book, and sharing their story?”

So, I did what I do best and made a list.

1. Take Control of Your Day

If you’re serious about making a change and getting results, you have, to be honest with yourself: How are you currently spending your time and filling your days?

Tomorrow morning, grab a pen and paper and start to track your day; for now, don’t try to change your normal routine, just notice it and write down your findings.

Look at your relationship with technology: is it hindering or helping your productivity? How often do you get sucked into a social media post, article, video or news clip– and ultimately lose track of what you were working on?

Listen, we’re all guilty of occasionally spending a bit too much time perusing the internet– and there’s nothing wrong with that!

However, if external distractions begin to steer you away from achieving your goals– it’s time to take control!

2. Take Advantage of “Lost” Time

Life doesn’t slow down just because you’re busy, and it has a sneaky way of throwing curveballs when you least expect them.

It can be so easy to get frustrated and take on a “woe is me” mentality, when the going gets tough.

I vividly remember a time, when my car needed a repair and the subsequent stress over the “lost” time I’d need to spend at the mechanic, almost took me to the brink of a meltdown!

In my mind, I was the victim of my car’s repair needs, AND I was being punished by wasting valuable work time, waiting for it to get fixed.

But then, something clicked, and I made a choice to power through it— I packed up my laptop and headed out. In the subsequent hour or so it took to repair my car, I continued typing away at my book, responded to a few emails and even took a call.

So much for “lost” time! Not only did I accomplish everything I would have at home, but I also found a great feeling of empowerment for not letting life’s little curve balls get the best of me.

There are so many instances where we immediately concede defeat when we could be taking advantage of each and every spare minute:

  • 10 minutes in the carpool lane, recording ideas for your next book chapter
  • 5 minutes, while your coffee brews to write down your daily to-do list
  • 1 minute, while the shower warms up to repeat your positive affirmations

 Every little bit counts!

3. Take It One Thing at a Time

If you’ve ever heard me speak, you know I’m not a fan of multitasking— it simply doesn’t work!

In fact, multitasking may be the biggest distraction of all. The reason being, rather than doing one thing really well, to the best of your ability, you end up doing a couple of things at sub-par quality.

While you may feel more accomplished for ticking a few items off your list, at a time– what’s the real value when the quality is lacking?

To illustrate just how lousy I think multi-tasking is, humor me with this simple exercise.

  • Grab a pen, paper and something to time yourself with
  • Task #1: Start the timer and begin to write out the alphabet, A-Z on the top line. Next, write out numbers 1-26 in the line below. When you’re finished, stop the timer and record your time.
  • Task #2: Start the timer, but this time alternate between the top and bottom line, going from letters to numbers, i.e. A, 1, B, 2… Once you’ve completed both lines, stop the timer and record your time.

Notice anything? If you’re like the dozens of individuals I’ve done this exercise with, you’ll notice Task #2 takes significantly longer than Task #1.

And, why is that? To keep up with both tasks, your brain must switch gears and re-focus every second or so, which naturally takes time!

If time is your measure of productivity, you’d be better off focusing on one thing, doing it really well, then moving on to the next.

Thanks for playing along!

Let’s Work Together

Tying back to my initial motivation for this post, achieving your goals, such as writing a book takes much more than sheer desire.

“Book Bound” is such a wonderful reminder of that, as so many my fellow authors have overcome the plight of distractions, even with the odds stacked against them!

If you’re still trying to get your book OUT of your head and ON to paper, you can count on at least one cheerleader in your corner– and that’s me!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below on how you’re ditching distractions and getting focused!

Image attribution.

Article Name
Ditching Distractions and Getting Focused
“Book Bounders” are notoriously ambitious, highly-aspirational individuals-- but that’s not all; they’re focused, determined and results-driven. In other words, they’ve learned to ditch distractions and effectively manage their time.

Subscribe Now to get the latest insights on Productivity, Publishing and Passion

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.