Distractions get in the way of progress! Too often, even the slightest distractions end up being the difference between achieving your goals and missing the mark (especially when you’re talking about a super BIG goal). It’s natural for various emotions and events to cause your mind to stray. But it’s important to avoid getting sidetracked for too long.
Today we want to focus on the ‘how’s’, right? Well did you know that a typical office worker cannot focus on a task at hand for more than 11 continuous minutes? And that the average student can’t focus on a given task for more than two minutes without becoming distracted. Now, if like me, you’re a typical Internet user, your online screen focus lasts a mere 40 seconds on average. That’s CRAZY ?! So HOW do you stay on task so that achieving our BIGGEST dreams are possible?
You can’t do BIG things if you’re distracted by small things.
It is said that staying focused is one of the biggest challenges modern people have today. While it usually takes so little to get distracted and so much to keep focused, it’s super important for you to decide right here and now that if you really want to achieve your BIGGEST goal, it’s going to require a change in habit. Even if it’s just for a little bit of time, you’re still going to make a few small sacrifices to taste the sweet victory of success!!! Whooo Hooo!!!
Try these 10 steps to discipline your senses and give yourself the focus necessary to achieve your BIGGEST goals:
1 . Turn Off Your Push Notifications. Push notifications can keep you on point or they can distract you. Turn off all push notifications that are not pushing you towards reaching your goals. If it’s a meditation reminder or task organizer, then great! But I’m not sure how much that Macy’s sale notification is going to help – only you can be the judge. 🙂
2. Only Check Your Email Three Times a Day. It’s easy to stay connected to everything while you’re at work, running your business, or at home cooking. Having access to email on your phone or laptop is a great luxury that we have and the email communications that we receive daily keep us going and on point right? Right! However email (especially checking email) many times throughout the day can be a major distraction because each of those emails are nine times out of 10 requesting you to take some form of action.
If you’re reading all day and taking action on many different things all day, are you working on YOUR goals? Only you can answer that, but a great way to cut down on the email time is by checking your email only three times a day. Once in the AM, again in the afternoon, and once in the evening.
3. Respond to Text Messages On a Schedule. You don’t have to respond to your text messages as soon as you get them. Put yourself on a text checking schedule to stay focused during this critical time. It’s okay to let the texts sit for a little bit while you work on achieving your goals. Be easy with yourself. 🙂
4. Schedule Distraction Time. Sometimes it’s hard not to be distracted so if you schedule short bursts of distraction time, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. Watching a quick recap of The Real Housewives of Atlanta can be just what the doctor ordered to get you back on track working on your biggest goals.
5. Listen to Music. As strange as it sounds, music can boost your ability to avoid distractions. But how does noise help you concentrate?
- Studies have shown that classical music enhances visual attention. Subjects apparently focus better with classical music playing than they do in silence.
- Listening to music also helps you make the most out of your workout. The music you listen to at the gym is really useful. It helps you focus on working out by taking your attention away from the discomfort.
6. Put a ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ Sign On Your Door. Not for the whole day, but maybe for a certain part of the day. It’s okay to be unavailable so that you can put clear intent and focus on achieving your most BIGGEST goals.
7. Focus On One Thing At a Time. This step is a work in progress because we live in a world where multitasking is the norm. It’s easy to get caught up with doing more than one thing.
- Your efforts to accomplish several things at the same time may be breaking your focus.
- For the next few weeks, try to keep your tasks simple and one-dimensional. Aim to complete one thing before moving on to the other. Even if you feel underutilized in the process, try to stick to it.
- By allowing your mind and senses to focus on only one thing, you’ll be able to give it your undivided attention. Then, you’ll be able to successfully complete the task.
8. Avoid Distracting Situations. When you’re surrounded by things or people whose appeal you would rather explore than focusing on what you’re currently doing, you’re setting yourself up for distractions.
- A great example is studying in front of the television. In this situation, many of your senses are engaged in what you’re watching on TV, rather than on your studies. Find a quiet place to study, instead.
- Let’s say you have a deadline for work. Develop the discipline to tell your friends that partying is out of the question tonight. Learn to say “no” to distractions.
9. Try Mindfulness Meditation. You will be surprised how a quick little meditation session will give you the energy and focus you need to achieve anything. We like to use the Headspace app or catch a Get Into the Flow and Focus YouTube video to help guide my flow. Try one or both of these out and let us know in the comments below or share with the MoPlan Do community what meditation tools you use.
10. Consider the Repercussions. A little conscious thinking is all it takes to maintain focus. Have you ever stopped to consider the repercussions of allowing distractions to take over? Surely you would be less than thrilled if great opportunities passed you by!
- Learning how to balance your priorities will benefit you. How useful is that particular distraction going to be to you a few hours, days, or months from now? Probably useless. Focusing on what’s important gives you lasting satisfaction.
- Allowing distractions to consume your mind also leaves you open to other issues that can interfere with achieving your goals. It’s possible that your mind can become lazy, impatient, and sometimes angry.
Great things are in store for you once you allow yourself to focus on what you truly want to accomplish. Remember that your ultimate satisfaction comes from reaching your goals. If you maintain focus, success is sure to come your way! And if you need help reaching your smallest or BIGGEST goals download a copy of the MoPlan Do app here to help you get started right now!