Distractions come in all shapes, sizes, seasons, and times. Most of the time distractions come when we do not expect them. There is another type of distraction. It is more subtle, less realized, and it seems to be gathering momentum in society. Its results are detrimental, deadly, and downright, well… distracting to what we should be focused on.
What is this distraction?
We are so caught up in our doings that we neglect our being. Think about how many times you and I have been in conversations with someone and while they are talking, we pull out our cell phone. Now, sometimes we pull it out to show that person something, because, well it is relevant to the conversation. However, many times we fall victim to multi-tasking madness. That feeling which comes when we are not doing two or more things at the same time.
We have been taught that multi-tasking is a sign that we are geniuses because we can accomplish more. The truth is the more we focus on, the less we get done. Distractions seem to destroy our focus, break us down, cause disarray in our heads and hearts, and then we become delirious when trying to accomplish what we need to.
Here are five ways to dismantle the distractions that creep into our lives daily.
Oh, and a bonus actions step to pull it all together.
First, we need to recognize the need to disengage from everything. This is extremely challenging for us to do. On the surface I can see many of you reading this right now thinking to yourself “you must be crazy to think I can disengage from everything.” However, if you take a few hours to a few days to disengage, you create the ability to make major shifts. Thirty years ago, we called this practice a vacation. Today, we need a vacation from our vacation… Why? We are too engaged.
Secondly, we need to start to decipher who we need to remain connected to. Our connections are now miles wide and inches deep. Now, before you dismiss the notion of building a network, I will say that building a network is very crucial, yet too many of us try to go deep with all of our connections and end up staying shallow with everyone. Prioritizing the ‘who’ is our lives makes all the difference. There are various to accomplish this (Drop a comment below if you want a cheat sheet on networking basics and how to create powerful lists to prioritize people).
Next, and probably most challenging is distinguishing which tasks to do. There will always be work to complete, relationships to cultivate, and paths to carve, yet concentrating on what is important and distinguishing the differences between needs and wants will help.
Following on the heels of distinguishing comes the moment of truth where we get to decide what needs our attention. Our families need attention. Our bodies need attention. Our businesses need attention. Our social life needs attention. Our future needs attention. Making a decision and sticking to it, no matter what it is, creates focus. The greater our focus, the less we are distracted.
Finally, we get to determine how we put this all together. Ingenuity comes into play. This is where our skillsets and mindsets create a fusion that others take note of. If I were to ask you to think of a person or a business that seems to be functioning with little to no problems, you could probably come up with 10.
The bonus action step is being deliberate. Nothing will change if nothing changes. Taking strategic actions around these five ways will create focused, deliberate attention towards achieving you desired results.
Today is your day. Be deliberate. Start with disengaging so you can decipher what is important. Creating those distinctions will help you decide on what to do. Being clear on what you want and need opens the doors of determining how you go about your day.