I was listening to a podcast recently, where the person being interviewed (who was talking about habit formation) said that the opposite of distraction was not focus as we would probably all have answered if we were asked, but TRACTION.
Traction is the ability to stick and move forwards, and that’s what we all need to make progress, to move forwards with our plans and goals; to get stuff done.
But we do live in ‘an age of distraction’ apparently, I keep reading about it, so it must be true!
Of course the digital world is very distracting, many of us are glued to our phones and consequently our brains are full of news updates, social media notifications, emails and WhatsApp messages. From the minute we wake up we are slaves to the information that is given to us through these oh so handy devices.
And wherever we go, even without our phones, on public transport, at the doctors surgery, driving through town, in a shopping mall, we are bombarded with screens, communications and advertising messages.
However, is this it? Are we just overwhelmed by digital stuff? is this why so many of us feel we aren’t getting stuff done?
Life has always had it’s distractions, and even today, the things which distract people and have distracted my clients are things like;
Physical clutter is very distracting and draining. It’s hard to move forwards with any sort of plans and goals when you are overwhelmed by your environment. When you let go of clutter, magic can happen.
OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES
Whether through simple gossip and being nosey or through people actively dragging us into their drama and demanding our emotional support, other people’s lives can be distracting. And even the lives of people we don’t know, celebrities and royalty for example can be distracting if we let them.
Back to digital in a way but many of us are somewhat obsessed with the news and the way news is now reported, there is always something unfolding, breaking news is every single day. the days of a slow news day appear to be over.
FOOD & ALCOHOL
You can have an evening spent on your goals and passions, crafting, exercising, working on your side hustle, reading that book you’ve always wanted to, WRITING that book you’ve always wanted to – or you can sink into a bottle of wine or distract yourself with enjoying a takeaway. Food and particularly alcohol, are very distracting. You can’t knock back a post work G&T (or two) and then expect yourself to get out the laptop and start researching your new business idea. A chocolate bar is a great direction from all that paperwork you’ve been meaning to file.
How much do you feel these distractions get in the way of you really gaining traction in your life and with your goals? And do you have any other distractions that you can share?
Two things to end this with.
1. If you know you are being held back by distractions, what can you do to eliminate or minimise them?
2. What are you distracting yourself from? Why do you want to be distracted? What is it in life that you’re not facing up to or getting on with? WHY are you holding yourself back?
Back to articles