“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw rocks at every dog that barks.” ~Winston S. Churchill
How often have you found yourself in situations where you are both multitasking and procrastinating? In other words, trying to focus and accomplish but being too easily distracted?
Distractions can come from people around us, personal or work demands, the environment or just life’s busyness. They’re internal too – doubts, mind chatter or expectations. Distractions can also be pleasant diversions, like a walk in a park or along the beach that provides a needed break. We typically find distraction an issue when we want to get something done but find it difficult to stay focused. You’re familiar with this experience, right?
Many distractions, however, are time-consuming. If you’re having trouble starting a project, completing one or simply thinking about what to do, increase your self-awareness and determine how much time you spend on one or more of the following distractions.
- Addiction to television – Television shows certainly provide a much-needed distraction. But are you addicted to a show or shows? Do you feel as though you are part of the cast? What would happen if you missed an episode or two?
- Preoccupation with others – Family, friends and co-workers surround you. How much time do you allow any one person(s) inside your head? What is it about that person that preoccupies your time and thoughts?
- Trepidation for the future – The beautiful thing about tomorrow is that it never arrives. There is only today and this moment. Are you so scared about the future that your fear has distracted you from living in the present?
- Obsession with social media – The advent of social media has created entirely new distractions. How much time do you spend on social media sites? More importantly, why exactly are you visiting so many sites and spending so much time on them? Why are you here, now?
- Anxiety about money – Welcome to the club. Understanding how to make money is a practice. How much time do you spend learning about money and work compared to worrying you need more?
- Fixation with athletes – Sports and games are fun and relaxing. But do you need to watch every single game on television or go to every home game? What exactly would happen if you missed a game?
- Addiction to political issues – Do you frequently talk about political issues? Are you so staunchly held to one political party that you are unable to consider new or differing ideas?
Keep in mind, some distractions are fine, even necessary. Only you can determine if distractions actually prevent you from living with intention, working with purpose and achieving your goals.
If, however, you remain unhappy, unfulfilled or unsatisfied with some aspect of your life perhaps it’s time to reconsider. Maybe it’s time to redirect your time and energy away from that which is distracting you and recommit the focus to turning your vision into reality.