I will always carry with me every wrong turn I’ve made in life not because I can’t get it out of my head but because I perceive them to be lessons. From this, I can actively take into account future actions and decisions to avoid the pitfalls of distractions that forever seem to intrude on our lives. There are many distractions out there to lure us into the web of deceit and failure. Not the ones you get when driving. Not the ones you deliberately construct to call attention to when you want to opt-out of obligations. But those that can gravely hamper our effort to grow and develop into the person we are thriving to be. Social media for example has become a huge part of our lives, and also a distraction for many of us.
Distraction can derive from many sources; both external and internal. It’s like an intrusion that keeps you from giving undivided attention to another.
External distractions such as social media and people are draining with social media being the biggest distraction, keeping us mentally preoccupied and neglecting many aspects of our life. It decreases our face to face communication skills and offers no real emotional connection. I like to think that social media is mindless. For example, recall lately when social platforms were down. I’ve seen the reaction of some people, and what I describe as hopelessness. It was as if their whole world was torn apart. Social media is not totally useless, but when used intentionally it becomes more rewarding.
People can also be a distraction. If you care too much about what others think or what is being said about you, it is likely to result in you drawing faulty conclusions. This can demolish your hopes and ruin your dreams. Likewise, spending time with people who are involved in activities that do not profit your personal development may also leave you feeling worthless and unproductive.
On the other hand, internal distractions can be worst than external distractions. Originating from your mind and perception. Self-doubt and self-criticism may be your biggest inner distraction. Random thoughts, constant worries and emotional states. These distractions are the stumbling block that dissuades you from pursuing your goal or even attempting it. One of my distractions was my mind. Bad judgement, trusting the wrong people and being preoccupied with things that do not matter.
What have you done to deal with distractions in your life? What dusty junk do you have in your mental space? Below I share with you 4 powerful ways that have worked and continue to work for me to beat distraction.
1. Declutter Your Mind
Many of us suffer too much from dwelling in our minds. Thinking about things we cannot change or do not exist. We burden ourselves with things that are out of our control and it becomes difficult for us to accomplish anything. And if you’re suffering from a lack of sleep this will exacerbate the situation.
When you eliminate unnecessary thoughts, fears and concerns it will aid in boosting your positive self and increase mental space. Regularly monitor your thoughts. Avoid pent up emotions and share your thoughts with people you trust. This can help you look at things from a different perspective and bring clarity to your thoughts.
Take a break to rest and recharge. Set aside your phones and television so you can have some personal moments for yourself. Keep a journal of your inner thoughts. Make a list of the things that worries you, your plans for the future, and other elements in your life that isn’t serving you in a positive way. Prioritize and learn to meditate as mentioned in another post.
2. Monitor Your Wandering Thoughts
You don’t have to be a character in a sci-fi movie to control your mind. But rather a decision that you want to entertain more healthy and positive thoughts. Take the decision to unravel why you feel the way you do. For you to do this you must be aware of your emotions and thoughts. In Another post, I will write more about awareness.
You cannot allow your thoughts to run uncontrollably. Why would you? Choose to be the person who is in control. Subconsciously our minds tend to create unhealthy and unwanted thoughts. But you are the thinker and only you can control your thinking. Start your day with the intention of being mindful of your thoughts and try to bring yourself in to focus when you are conscious of your wandering mind, and practice thinking desirable thoughts.
Use your mind to think constructively. Choose what you will allow to occupy your mind. At times it will seem as though your mind won’t let you do the work, but it’s up to you to choose to be in control. We all experience challenges from time to time, and if this is your current state you might find it harder to take control of your thoughts. If you are burned out and nothing seem to be happening you might want to slow down a bit, there’s only so much you can do to effect change in your life, but quitting is never an option.
3. Keep Your Goals in Mind
Many people seem to work hard to get what they want but haven’t been able to get to the level where they want to be. This may be because they have only thought about it many times but failed to formally set goals. After all, would you build a house without having a proper plan? In the same way, create a vision board that will constantly remind you of your goals. By knowing what you want to achieve you will be able to promptly concentrate your effort in the area. This is a powerful step towards your ideal future.
As you work towards your goals don’t forget to take time to savour the achievements. Good things take time. What might have been appearing as a dawdle is now forward progress inspiring you and giving you the confidence in your ability to achieve even more.
4. No Social Media ‘Protocol’ to Amplify Focus Time
Perspective is everything. You get home take a shower, have dinner then sit down and relax. No sound, no one, all around there’s silence. We all decide whether that is loneliness, freedom or an opportunity to focus on you. Be the boss of your time. Sometimes we get caught up with what is happening around us, with what is been fed through social media so it seems hard for us not to pay attention.
As humans, we are easily distracted. And in this age of technology and social media, we are even more susceptible to distractions. However, there are things that we can engage in to help us focus on ourselves. And it might seem extreme if you put away your phone, but this may serve as a positive step towards your development. Trust the method you set for yourself so as to become accustomed to your new habit. Being focused is no walk in the park, but it is possible to achieve what you have embarked on.
“If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that are weighing you down”.Tony Morrison