How to Stop Distractions Getting in the Way

Do you have a project that you really want to work on that would make a big difference in your life, a hobby that would bring you a great deal of joy but you just never seem to get round to it because of the distractions in your life?

In Day 4 of Natalie Sisson’s blogging challenge, Natalie talks about the distraction of online things – checking email, Facebook, Youtube and that habit we are all partial too – pleasurably following links to goodness-knows-where land.  She discusses how these things distract us from the things that we really want to do, things that will benefit us in the longer run.

My main distractions are:

  • My own mind
  • Working from the family home

I get distracted by ideas and feelings and constant thoughts of what I should be doing (and not really doing them either).  I go off at tangents.  Sitting down at my laptop and focusing can seem like a great ordeal even though I love writing and blogging.

Working from the busy family home is a tricky one.  There’s lots to do and lots of people to be with.  I love spending time with my partner and family, just relaxing.  But then …. I get frustrated because I set myself the goal of doing a little work on here and then …. I just don’t do it.

Science of happiness
The science of happiness suggests that working on big projects and ideas that stretch us, even though they may be a challenge at times, really does reap great rewards.  Challenging ourselves, learning and working towards something ‘big’ really does up our happiness quotient.  In other words, its worth the effort.  Its worth pushing yourself out of the comfort zone of everyday life.

My solution
Nothing works better for me that taking myself off to a coffee shop.  For over a year now Costa is my favourite.  Even if its noisy I can work for hours.  You see, its not ‘my’ noise.  Its like white noise, it just blends into the background.  I find it soothing and relaxing working in coffee shops.

Once I’m installed in my favourite spot my mind chatter stops and I can just get on.  I’m captive there – no ironing, no ‘things to do’ list.

When I want a break, I can just stop and people-watch.  I’ve actually met a few really interesting people too.  And reunited with a really old friend.  We’d been estranged for years (a great loss to us both) and now we are back in touch.

How to get going
One of the important things that helps to motivate us is to focus on why we want to do what we want to do.

Get into the heart of why
What are the benefits of you forging ahead with your project, hobby, idea?  Make a list, think about it.  This focuses your mind.  It helps you give it the importance it deserves. Get juicy with it.  These are you motivations and motivations can be made stronger when you attach emotion to them.

What are your distractions?
Family, children, other things to do, watching TV, social media, working lots of hours?  There are so many possibilities.  We all have distractions. Identify what is stopping you.

What are ways round it?
Once you start to give it some focused thought lots of ideas will spring to mind.  Here are some suggestions:

  • ask for help
  • get a baby sitter
  • get up a bit earlier
  • go to bed a bit later
  • set a timer
  • put a do not disturb sign on the door
  • can you change your work schedule?
  • go to a coffee shop
  • get together with friends to do your activity – you can keep each other in check then
  • get an accountability partner
  • for social media – watch Natalie’s video to get ideas on how to block out interruptions on your computer
  • talk straight to family and friends
  • don’t answer the phone or door

Start small
If you are not used to taking time for you and your needs you could start very small.  Just take a little time each day, or week to work on your project.  If you have a family this will probably be useful for them too.  They will get used to you being focused on your needs in small stages.

That’s it for now folks!

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