Attracted to Distraction
You think you are fighting a losing battle. You like TV! You are connected to your social media feed. You like to listen to Podcasts and Audible books while you work. You think the coffee shop is the ideal work space! You wear headphones because you are "limiting" distraction only to keep a constant noise playing in your head! The idea of 15 minutes with nothing to do sounds great but when you actually experience it...you RUN from the silence! You think "boredom" is a bad word.
While you realize that you need focus and discipline to complete projects, move your business forward and create innovative solutions and products; you also live a life that keeps you from doing any of that successfully. You think you don't have a choice. But, you do.
I think we buy into the malarkey that we don't have a choice but to live in a word of constant distraction because ultimately...we avoid self-evaluation. If you had to truly take a look at yourself and your life, you would be forced to make changes. But if you can spend your time looking at everyone else, keeping the noise constantly going and spend your time in distracting and entertaining environments; you never have to face yourself.
So, where do you start? How do you begin to detox yourself from the attraction to distraction? How do you get more comfortable with you...the real you? Here are a few things that I had to practice to calm the storm of distraction that had allowed to take over my life:
1) Just 10 minutes a day...in total silence. I even set a timer. I didn't meditate. I didn't "breathe" a certain way. I just found a spot. Turned off all the noise. Put my phone in another room. And sat there. I let my mind think it was stupid to sit here. Eventually, my mind quit thinking it was stupid and smirking...it began to seek the quiet. It began to actually think about specific things...clearing up clutter and allowing me to make some REAL decisions. Eventually, I began to need the silence...now, I need about an hour a day...and I jot down the things I think so that I can implement them.
2) I got rid of all the TVs except for one. Yes, just because I KNOW I need to limit my viewing...if a TV was in the room, it was on. The fewer rooms that had a TV...the less likely it was to be on! And I discovered....TVs in every room were a waste of money!
3) I decided that for one whole month I would actually read a physical book. Not an electronic book. Not listen to an Audible book. I would read. I would touch the pages. I would hear my own head voice speak the words I was reading. I discovered that I retained more information and it was more powerful than hearing some voice read to me...or be tempted to check my social media feed from my tablet!
These three things were the start of something wonderful. I found productivity in my thoughts and some creative solutions for my business and clients. I found that the background noise was reduced and I spent more time in my home office...less time in front of a TV or loud coffee shop. And I increased the power of learning by the actual use of my own brain in something as simple as reading!
Most of us don't do well with a total elimination of all the distractions...and most of us aren't even aware of all of them. Start small. Start simple. See what happens.