I don’t know if it just me, but it seems like the opportunities to get distracted have multiplied. Things like the internet, which gives access to unbelievable amounts of research, can become a distraction by chasing one article after another – often getting “hooked” and off target.
Or perhaps it’s social media and following the stories and pictures of friends, family and the latest trends. I consider myself to be a pretty focused individual, but it has become more and more a temptation to check out one topic or another while sitting at my computer. And this doesn’t include the distractions that others introduce into my day.
Distractions Are Costly
Whatever is behind distraction it has a great impact on productivity, effectiveness and impact. A UC Irvine study found that office workers get distracted every 11 minutes and, once distracted, it takes 25 minutes to return to the original task! This isn’t just bothersome, it also is an energy drainer.
Distractions can cause you to forget the new idea that was top of mind or miss a valuable insight. Each time you have to re-focus your pre-frontal cortex has to expend precious energy to get back on track. This energy takes away from creating, learning and problem solving.
“We have uphill goals but downhill habits. You can’t go uphill with downhill habits.” – John Maxwell
So how can you deal with distraction?
One of the uphill habits you must develop to succeed is focus. When faced with distraction don’t simply try harder as this expends valuable mental energy. Instead, be pro-active and get a plan.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to create an environment that minimizes distractions and enhances focus. This will take intention to identify the culprits that distract you. Things like silencing your cell phone and putting it out of reach is a great start. This may be hard but by doing so you will be creating the path toward what you want.
Another is before you engage technology, ask yourself, “Why am I on my computer or phone?” As you move about your day ask, “Why did I enter this room?” The key is to ask the question before you start the action. This practice will keep you focused on your intention and goal. As you practice this habit over time it will become as natural as riding a bicycle.
Ready to Succeed?
If you would like to learn more ways to develop focus and deal with distraction, feel free to listen to this complimentary 25-minute webinar . The webinar explores the brain science behind why you get distracted and some very practical ways to stay focused and deal with distraction. Another tool you might find useful is a Goals Worksheet which you can download from here. I’d love to hear what you have to say about the topic. Feel free to leave comments below.
Look forward to helping you build the up-hill habits to succeed in your life and business!