Being focused is powerful! Distraction is higher in this age because of several reasons. Many of us are distracted on a daily basis by politics, technology, and other things that would not stop or changed because of our attention. If you can focus on the things that matter (your goals, happiness, family and others), you will be happier and achieve more every day. I became happier when I started focusing on what really matters. I didn’t cut distractions off drastically but gradually. I’m still working on it. You can cut distractions off too. Here are simple tips that have helped me to stay focused amidst several distractions.
1. I Always Have a Realistic Plan.
You know I like to talk about planning a lot. I believe designing your day would always prevent it from falling into a default mode. You cannot be focused or intentional without a plan. A plan drives you towards your goals. If you decide to follow the plan that you have drawn up regardless of what is going on, you will have minimal distractions. Following your plan makes you feel more powerful – powerful over some of the activities of your day. Fighting distraction is never going to be easy. You have to set out every day with a plan and purpose.
Compare to most people, I can get easily distracted. So in order to not cheat my future self, I always have a physical and electronic planner for my daily activities. Remember, being realistic is the key to any successful planning. Don’t plan something unattainable like not saying a word for an entire day just to avoid distraction. I have actually heard a teenager said that once. Be realistic with your plan!
2. I Always Ask The Embarrassing but Helpful Questions.
Despite my planner, I still sometimes get invitation to distractions. When I noticed that something has called for my attention and it is clear that it would lead to further distraction; I ask myself some questions. These questions are “How does this affect me?” and “How does my involvement affect this project or people?”. A lot of people are distracted by what they cannot control and what is none of their businesses.
Studies have showed that about 6 out of ten people are distracted in this age, they are on a journey they didn’t set out for. It takes about 23 minutes to focus after distraction. If an issue won’t change for good or help you to better because of your involvement, you probably don’t need to attend to it or give it undivided attention.
3. I Always Invite Accountability Partners
People are very important to our daily success. I always use friends to keep me accountable about my plans and possible distractions. I didn’t know how important and helpful accountability partners can be until few weeks ago. Many years ago, I had a discussion with a friend and I told him what I would like to achieve in the following couple of years. Unfortunately, I lost contact with this friend but ran into him at an event few weeks ago. This man asked me about what I talked about many years ago.
I was shocked that he still remembers and more importantly that he asked me about my goal within couple of minutes of us catching up. We need people like this man in our lives. Tell your friends, coach, mentor etc about your goals, the path to the goals and more importantly the possible challenges you may face. A good friend would check your progress and always encourage you to keep going.
It is time to go get some wins. Being focused can lead to more wins. Please let me know if you need an accountability partner.