Distractions are distractions.
They’re all the same. They affect your commitment to your business, to your relationships, and your life. I used to think there were different types of distractions but the reality is they are all the same. Life is never without distractions. There are definitely different seasons in life BUT every season has it’s fair share of distractions.
Ask yourself this: What distractions are getting in YOUR way of accomplishing your life’s mission?
Distraction, by definition, is “something that divides the attention or prevents concentration.” Look a bit further, and the definition can also mean “something that amuses or entertains.” In other words, distractions can be get in the way of your goals and accomplishments AND they can be a positive source of entertainment!
In a single day, distractions come at me in all directions. Do they do this to you, too? The phone seems to buzz every 5 minutes, I login to Facebook to send a quick message, only to find myself wasting a solid 20 minutes of scrolling in the process, there’s a group of friends gathered at Starbucks, my husband is calling to know where my checkbook is so he can pay the CPA, and then there is always breaking news that I can’t stop following throughout the day.
The reality is LIFE is a distraction. There are a lot of fun distractions, like lunch with friends or Monday night football (for some of you!), but ultimately, they fill space and time in an already full day. Leaders who truly want to build a successful business, one that pays them in big ways, learn to identify the business-building activities that have to get done in a day, and say no to the rest. They can identify a distraction when they see one…good and bad.
People who achieve their business goals, financial goals, and life goals find ways to stay focused on their goals while handling the curve balls. Successful people understand the power of consistency and the importance of staying committed to a vision regardless of what life is throwing at them. They know how to balance needs versus wants.
A mentor to Heather and I talks about having “the attitude of a champion.”
She says the wannabe champion can be identified by her excuses. “The kids were out of school this week, so I wasn’t able to work.” “My husband is out of town this week, so I have to be the mom AND the dad. I won’t get to my business while he’s gone.” “When things calm down around here, I can pick right back up where I left off.”
The true champion speaks an entirely different game. She sets time aside each day to work her goals and vision. She sets that time aside and guards it fiercely. She looks at distractions, like the kids home from school for a week, as a new opportunity to meet new people and stretch her skills. She’s confident in her choices and knows how to avoid self-sabotage and use the word “no.” While everyone else is locked in excuses, even ones with merit, the true champion grinds away at her goals and vision with intentional focus.
Write the word CHAMPION on a sticky note and post it at your computer, or wherever you’ll see it daily. In fact. write the word CHAMPION on many sticky notes and post them everywhere!
Adopt the attitude of a champion and drive your focus past today’s distractions, and everyday! You’ll be unstoppable!
Not sure what is getting in your way? Here is some help to identify YOUR distractions. If you were blessed with a personality that allows you to be self critical you have likely already identify them on your own. If not, try a time journal for two weeks. I did this exercise early after becoming an entrepreneur and was surprised where I was spending my time. Once I saw it in writing and had a real snapshot, I could start to adjust.
First, identify the non-negotiables and then work from there to identify the “nice to haves” and the “got to goes”.
Once you have a firm grip on where your time is being spent and the adjustments that need to be made, it's time to tackle things that actually trigger distractions. A trigger is something that sets you up to fail. For example, Facebook could be a trigger for you. A simple goal of answering an instant message turns into two hours of mindless scrolling. If this is a trigger, set yourself up for success by setting a timer when you open Facebook. Delete the app from your phone. You don't have to eliminate Facebook all together but rather make small adjustments to help you stay on task. How about television? If tv is a problem, consider scaling back and rewarding yourself with a show after you accomplish the work that needs to be done.
We all have the same amount of time in a day and we all have distractions. Successful people learn to manage their time and discipline their distractions. Which one will you choose? One of my favorite quotes from John Maxwell is, “are you going to wing it, or work for it?” Hope this inspires you to work at disciplining your distractions so you can stay the course.