Distractions and Distractors
Emails, social media, internet surfing, fun activities, phone calls, talkers, gossipers, doomsayers, worrying…. the list of possible distractions and distractors goes on. How do you handle these? Do you manage them well or are you easily distracted by them?
While emails, social media, internet surfing and fun activities all have a purpose and can help you to stay connected with people, to switch off and recharge, they can become distractions when they prevent you from concentrating on the task or priority at hand, or from meeting a goal or deadline. Similarly, while it is important to make and take phone calls, listen to and hear people and their concerns, appreciate alternative perspectives, interact with well-meaning people who approach you with opportunities, these can all be distractors when they interfere with the priorities, goals and outcomes we set.
Who is the real distractor?
Professionals and business owners who have clarity of direction and purpose, with clear goals and priorities are less easily distracted than those without that clarity. People without this clarity are the real distractor. They will unconsciously distract themselves because they don’t know what they really want. They will easily be distracted by:
- opportunities, new gadgets and shiny objects
- gossip, negativity and other people’s dramas
- spending too much time reading emails, internet surfing, social media
- their negative self talk, insecurities, worries and fears, all of which can prevent them from knowing what they really want in their career/business/relationships/life
as a result they may:
- be unable to say “no” and take on too much (they may take on too much just in case it is what they want and so they don’t miss out)
- get overwhelmed by all the options presented to them because they have been unable to prioritise or eliminate these
- procrastinate and put off making decisions or be indecisive as they have yet to get clear about what they want
- jump on other people’s “band wagons” and help achieve those people’s goals instead of their own
- lack drive or motivation (clarity of purpose, goals and priorities give us the drive and motivation to achieve and succeed)
- be ineffective in communicating their needs and wants and may confuse or distract others in the process (if those people allow them to)
- sabotage their success and their confidence – this is one of over 35 ways that people can sabotage their confidence and success
They will be looking for something, yet will find it difficult to find what they really need or want because they do not know what they want. This is similar to people who go shopping and have no idea what they are looking for – they will spend hours looking and browsing and leave empty handed, buy things they do not need, be unhappy with their purchase or may even return what they buy.
Stop the distractions!
The best way to stop the distractions and distractors is to get clear about what you really want. Have a clear purpose in life/business, with clear goals and priorities to help you to achieve these. Once this clarity is in place then it is much easier to focus your brain on helping you to achieve what you do want.
The brain will focus on what you ask it to – either scatter focused (hence the term scatter brained) or highly focused on your purpose/goals/priorities. Your brain is waiting for that clarity so that it knows what to do with the mass of information we are presented with each day. Does it take in a piece of information, delete it, ignore it, process it, store it, action it, make a choice and which one, etc.? Until then, indecision, confusion, procrastination and overwhelm can kick in and lead to distraction.
Sometimes even people who have clarity of direction, goals and priorities can allow distractions. Should that occur, they then need to learn more effective ways to handle those distractions so that they can refocus and get themselves back on track to achieve their goals and priorities.
Do you effectively manage your distractions and distractors or allow them to interrupt you?
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