“If we become cynics and decide it is too difficult for us or anyone to control our mind, then we are destined to forever drift in a sea of impulses and social cues, a life of reaction and distraction rather than one of conscious design.”
– Brendon Burchard, from THE MOTIVATION MANIFESTO
I’ve been thinking a lot about distraction – to the point of distraction! The stuff my mind says are more important than the goals I’ve set for myself or even the actual task at hand. Have you ever been reading a book and then discover that you don’t remember what you read, because you were thinking about something else, and then have to read it again? I have to admit sometimes I have to read it over and over again until I really start reading what I am reading.
When I let my impulses control me and my thoughts distract me, I feel like my brain is a hamster running a wheel. Running, running but getting no where. Then, I look up and hours and hours have gone by and nothing got done and then I beat up myself for it.
Here are a few of my favorite distractions of choice:
- I can’t concentrate on that writing project until my office is tidied up.
- BLACKLIST, with James Spader, is coming on and I need to get caught up on the previous shows.
- Oh, kitty kitty you are so cute. Let’s watch funny cat videos together.
- Has someone emailed me?
- Has someone posted anything cool on Facebook?
- I need a cup of tea to concentrate. Wild Sweet Orange, pretty please, with Stevia.
- That paragraph is crap. I need to take a walk and collect my thoughts.
- I promised my friend I would give her a call. She’s going to be mad at me.
So you can see, I will use anything to distract me from the task at hand. Because that is what distraction is, at least for me. Avoidance. And, there is something else. The thought or belief that working on that project is senseless, because I might not do it good enough anyway. Yeah, that’s probably more like it for me.
WHAT’S THE CURE FOR DISTRACTION?
Distraction is a habit. Some people even think it is an addiction. (I certainly think my iPhone distraction is an addictive habit.) One way to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. One good habit I rely on is to decide what I want to accomplish for the day and I remind myself why I want to accomplish it, in order to rally the motivation to keep on task.
For instance, I was procrastinating writing this blog. I had good reasons and lots of distractions because I am on a trip in Florida. But, I told myself that I made the commitment to write a weekly blog and I motivated myself with the thought that I would be keeping a promise to myself and connecting with my readers. Right now, I am in the E-Center at the SGI-USA Florida Nature Culture Center feeling really good about myself saying, “I’m writing this blog in Ft. Lauderdale! Yeah, for me!” This is my inner voice rewarding myself. 🙂
Come on. You can do it! What would make you feel really good if you got up right now and just did that thing you have been thinking about doing?