If I could change one thing about my days, it would be to succumb less to distractions. And that’s no easy task. By the time I finish writing this blog, I will likely have been tempted with over 10 distractions–my desire to make a coffee run which results in a hallway conversation, a little fact checking which leads me to scan twitter for a few extra minutes, the email that pops in to my inbox–just to name a few.
Life is filled with distractions and we are fighting a losing battle against time. But the more prone to giving in to these distractions we become, the less accomplished we often feel in terms of our goals. Have you ever looked back at the end of an extremely busy week and realized that you didn’t get done even a quarter of what you set out to do? And at the end of it all, did you still feel like you didn’t have a moment to spare? Welcome to the club. Club Distraction.
Chances are, you probably won’t even get through this article without stopping for a few interruptions. But distractions can be costly. Our more is more, communication-driven, multi-tasking preferred society suggests that distractions are just a part of life.
And that may be, but there are certainly things we all can do to take more control of our lives and filter out some of the unnecessary distractions. Good leadership is about knowing when to do just that.
Good leadership is learning how NOT to get distracted from the ultimate vision and goals.
5 Distractions That Take You Further From Your Vision
1. Procrastination. Don’t delay the inevitable. Get the hard stuff out of the way. Often, if you put off the difficult stuff, your day will be open to many other distractions, causing you to feel anxious about the process and increasing your likelihood of not accomplishing what you need to do.
2. Email. Yeh, this is obvious. We all know it. We all say it. Email is a major distraction. But it’s become so readily available on all of our devices that it’s automatic to check that inbox without evening realizing you’re doing it. It’s not going anywhere. It will be there when you get to it. Schedule specific time to handle it and don’t let it consume you.
3. Pleasing Everyone. It’s impossible but yet we spend a lot of time trying. Don’t forget you’re just one person. If you try to please everyone, you’ll always end up disappointing yourself and eventually letting others down that are depending on you.
4. Trying To Do It All Yourself. Of course you have pride in what you do. But sometimes it’s just not necessary to do it all. Learn to ask for help and to rely on others.
5. Saying Yes To Everything. Politely refuse things that don’t contribute to your ultimate goal when you know you’re crunched on time. People won’t remember the project you declined to chair as much as they will when you take it on and fail to do it well because of lack of attention. Choose what’s important.
Sometimes it’s necessary to go with the distractions. No one should spend 100% of their time in complete focus. Distractions, when balanced well, can help you feel more connected and even bring joy and playfulness to your life. But in order to really enjoy the important distractions, you’ve got to balance them with equally important windows of focus.