Monday, March 9, 2015

Distractions - Avoiding a Day Down the Drain

Inner dialogue first thing in the morning:

"Ok, ok, YES, I'm pumped.  Getting up.  STRETCH.  Ahhhh.  Great day ahead!  I'm going to own this day.  Let me see if anyone read my post from las - nope, nope, I have to take a shower first.  SHOWERRRRR.  NICE! Fresh, clean, dressed!  Let's get that breakfast in!  Organize my day, ok my goals for today are.."

***DING*** (Phone notification)

"Oooh, a comment.  Let's see who it is.  Hahahaha that is hilarious."

***notices something else on their feed***

"Oh wow, that looks cool.  Ok, this and then I'll get started."

***4 hours later***

"Ahh, crap."


We might know what we need to do.  What might have a plan in place.  We might even be fully committed from the night before to tackle the day with all Carpe Diem fervor.  But, for whatever reason - we get so distracted right from the start of our day!  Throw all these distractions on top of any procrastination liability we might already have, and you find yourself in this mental yellow muck of donothingtoday.

"It's not my fault, I have a short attention span."

Apparently, we all have a short attention span, because we all seem to come up with the same excuse.  The truth is, that even when we are getting ready to press our FB button, Twitter, whatever...we can just sense that we are about to shoot our day down the toilet.  AND THEN WE DO IT ANYWAYS!  No sense.

Obviously, these apps and sites aren't necessarily bad.  But like anything else, if they are getting in the way, then it is because we are allowing that to happen. 

What we should be trying to do, is incorporate not only our will, but self-discipline as well.  The fact that we can predict how the rest of the day is going to go if we start gazing over our feeds for funny vids, gossip, or bad irrelevant news, is actually an incredible trait that we aren't using to our advantage. 

If you have things to do, goals to accomplish, things that NEED to get done, then you should be predicting the day of the you that actually avoids the non-essential stuff.  It makes sense, right?  It does because we know it to be true.

It's just one major bad habit, that can be replaced with a similar habit - only this habit has you actually hard-coring at your objectives, instead of your time wasters.  If you constantly bring up to mind the thing that is driving you, pulling you, or maybe even pushing you, you will have a better chance of avoiding the mud, and handling business.

To be totally frank, and this is just if you honestly feel like you can't dissuade yourself from peeking at your feed until after you hustle, you might consider removing the app altogether from your phone.  Or, blocking it from your computer.  Of course it might not work, but at least you are putting something else in the way of your being able to view it. 

If you have kids, then you know when your children are starting to get real lazy, and all they want to do is stay in front of the TV all afternoon, taking it away from them can work wonders.  Yes, you get the sighs and eye rolls, but they will do the chore real quick so they can get back to watching awful cartoons. 

If you need to treat yourself like that, do it.  One of our biggest mistakes in adulthood is thinking that just because we are old enough to drink, drive, and be married, is that we don't need any supervision.  We shouldn't, but you know several people that probably do.  So supervise yourself. 

If you aren't getting things done, and it is taking forever for your projects, goals, and other things to be accomplished, then take the measures necessary.  Be done with the things calling out to you before you even leave the house. 

This one thing, the mastery of self-discipline, will bleed in to other areas of your life.  You won't put off what you can do right now, you won't spend more than you make, you won't lose control of your emotions when things go awry - I mean, the benefits are endless.

Start small.  Cut the noise.  Amp up the self-discipline, and you will soon start to hear your goals calling out your name more often than the fail vids of your friends.

You got this :) !

Lover of Family, Life, and Possibility. Creative Soul. "Stop Thinking You Can't, and Start Knowing You Can." Reach out to me, and let me know how I can help!

56 comments:

  1. Yup that's me! I totally need self-control. Im working on it slowly but surely :p actually I deleted my fb app a while ago and only access it on my desktop or my phone browser.

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    1. Just you even deleting the app from your phone as a way to help, is more than what most people would even do. So, you rock! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. "One of our biggest mistakes in adulthood is thinking that just because we are old enough to drink, drive, and be married, is that we don't need any supervision. We shouldn't, but you know several people that probably do. So supervise yourself." Yes. That. I think that we've lost that definition of adulthood-- we're supposed to be old enough to watch after ourselves! Obviously we help each other, but we should each be "supervising" ourselves. :)

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    1. It's just one of those realizations you eventually come to - even though I know we all set out to never grow up :-p. But, I think we can still manage the youthful vigor, fun and adventurous mindset, and self-discipline, all at the same time. Thank you for commenting, I appreciate you!

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  3. Wow - so it's not only me that looks at the clock and says "OOPS!!"? ha/ha Love this. So many times we get off track and need to make sure we get back on it!

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  4. I can so relate!! Some days more than others. ;) Last week I was doing so much better about doing what I really WANTED to do (and what I knew would start my day off well) as soon as I woke up. Also doing better at taking advantage of those little moments to do something productive, instead of just saying, "Oh, it's only 5 minutes, I'll just check Facebook real quick." haha This week I have reverted back to not doing as good a job......thank you for the reminder!!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Bonnie! Yea, it can be ridiculously frustrating when that happens. It happened to me just a few weeks ago - I hate the feeling of a lost day! Good to know we are all in this together though. Don't be a stranger!

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  5. I do tend to get easily distracted, so I can relate to this. I just recently took FB off my phone!

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    1. Hi Tanya, and thanks for the comment! It's hard to do, but at least we try, right? :)

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  6. This whole sentiment is on my radar. My blog/lifestyle is about health and incorporating constant natural movement in my day...can't be done if I can't get away from my computer, checking emails, facebook, twitter one more time...! I am currently relegating myself to checking everything once upon getting up in the morning and once before bed. It's hard, but I so want to be present in the moment with my kids and husband and not constantly distracted by the unnecessary. I hate when I come to my senses, look at the clock and realize half my day is over! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Laine, and believe me, I know what you mean. It gets a little messed up when you tell your kids no phones at the dinner table, and yet here I go with mine pulled out. Granted, it's work related, but everything can be placed on hold especially for dinner time with the family! :)

      Thanks for relating, and I'm sure we will get the hang of this thing eventually!

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  7. So much truth! I have been becoming much more conscious of my "time wasters". I deleted the FB app a long time ago but so easy to pull up on the browser so I started signing out every time. Even if I still go there it makes it more difficult and makes me stop and think.

    I definitely have too much going on in life to let myself fall into the "same old" of distraction.

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    1. Hey Heather :)

      It's just a habit that we over time have conditioned ourselves to have - maybe it started with the first emails from Aol? lol Who knows. But, I do know how awesome it feels after a day of no straying, and straight focus on the goals and "plan" we have in place. Thanks for sharing, and don't be a stranger!

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  8. I am on OCD kind of person and very task-oriented. I do try hard to not let messages and comments distract me from what I need to do. However, since starting my blog, I've found that it is increasingly difficult to stay on task when I'm at my computer. I will think about something I want to write or want to check to see if anyone is even reading my blog. I've gotten better at it, but still need more self-discipline! :-)

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    1. It was harder for me to stay focused when at the computer as well. I just make sure I don't even begin to type the letters "fac" in my browser first moments at my desk...otherwise it's over lol

      Thanks for the comment!

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  9. I noticed I was doing these things so I put my phone in my room all day to avoid getting distracted. Thanks for the reminder of what a time waster these things can be.

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  10. I noticed I was doing these things so I put my phone in my room all day to avoid getting distracted. Thanks for the reminder of what a time waster these things can be.

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    1. Thank YOU, Jess, for the comment! Hope your day was great!

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  11. Yep, that's me. If I get on the computer, my phone or iPad, my whole day is wasted. I have been working very hard to be self disciplined though and know that I feel so much better when I get things done, instead of wasting a day on technology!

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    1. It can be tricky, especially if you have to use social media for a living. But, as long as there is some type of balance, and we are honest with ourselves, that self-discipline can be achieved.

      Thanks so much, Karen!

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  12. I am great at wasting time. Ugh. I wasn't like this before 4 kids. :) I think when I finally get enough sleep I'll be able to focus better.

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    1. Hi Morena,

      Wow, believe me - I can relate, with a clan the same size as yours. Sleep is so important, but it's hard to get enough of it sometimes. I DO agree that if there were more sleep, it would be easier to focus, which in turn would make it less likely for someone to slip up into distractions.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Delete
  13. Yes, sounds very familiar. If I do check email/facebook/social media in the morning, then I give myself a time limit. I also put my phone away at the end of the day so I can spend time with my family WITHOUT distractions.

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    1. It used to be so hard for me to put the phone away before bed, but I started to realize that I wasn't maximizing on my quality time with my wife and kids that way. It's so important to make sure they all go off to sleep totally happy, content, and with great thoughts. Can't do my part in that if my nose is stuck in my phone, while I wave goodnight ;) It's all about that balance.

      Thanks so much for the comment, Stephanie!

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  14. Ooooh so true for me. I'm the worst! Great reminder, and there is perhaps an app or two I should remove from my phone (or at least turn off notifications for).

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    1. I think I had 5 apps that I needed that done to. I have the most frequently used ones still on my phone, but I have finally gotten really good about managing them correctly for the past year.

      Thanks so much for the comment, Morgan. Don't be a stranger!

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  15. I hear ya! If I have to get something done, I'll often either leave my computer or at least close out email, twitter and Facebook - that seems to help.

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    1. Thanks for the comment phoward336! Hope your Friday has been a great one!

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  16. I was a just telling my sister, I don't think you get efficient with your time until you have to! We just had our fourth baby and I cut the hours I work each week by almost half, yet still am able to accomplish the same amount of work by doing exactly what you described, great read!

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  17. You're right it is soo easy to get distracted. Sometimes we have to turn off the phone and internet to just get our own work done heh.

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  18. A lot of good tips that I need to implement for sure. I recently got a new phone and I didn't put email on the phone because I wanted to get away from constantly checking my email. For the first week or so it was a little bit hard but after that I have actually forgotten about it. So now I only check email a couple of times a day and I have to go to the computer to do it.
    Thanks
    Debra
    http://www.ncborn.com/

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  19. I know just what you mean. I call it getting bogged down in the ever day. Every day, I start out my day so hopeful and feeling like I am getting so much done and than all of the sudden the day is almost over, and I realize I didn't get nearly as much as I thought I would.

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  20. You are so right! Those time wasters are killing me! Sometimes I don't realize what I do until two hours later, and then half of the morning is gone, and I'm so angry with myself. Happy to say that this morning I got up, went for a walk and now doing what's need to be done! Hope this will continue - I do it every day, there is time for everything! Thank you for putting it out there!

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  21. Excellent, excellent, excellent! Just the kick in the pants I needed! I'm pinning this and will be printing this part out and putting it in my planner:

    "One of our biggest mistakes in adulthood is thinking that just because we are old enough to drink, drive, and be married, is that we don't need any supervision. We shouldn't, but you know several people that probably do. So supervise yourself.

    If you aren't getting things done, and it is taking forever for your projects, goals, and other things to be accomplished, then take the measures necessary. Be done with the things calling out to you before you even leave the house.

    This one thing, the mastery of self-discipline, will bleed in to other areas of your life. You won't put off what you can do right now, you won't spend more than you make, you won't lose control of your emotions when things go awry - I mean, the benefits are endless.

    Start small. Cut the noise. Amp up the self-discipline, and you will soon start to hear your goals calling out your name more often than the fail vids of your friends.

    You got this :) !"

    Thanks Alexander! Great to find your blog - it's right up my alley and I'll be following.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I actually allot myself an hour in the morning to reading my feeds, email etc. while i drink my coffee. This just naturally morphs into working on my blog so it suits me perfectly. I don't do my other types of work,sewing, housework, house projects, etc until the afternoon. I think the key is knowing when you are most productive and making sure that's when you schedule those big tasks

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  23. I agree that timing is everything. I have very specific hours when I am most productive. I always try to schedule my important work between those hours. In two to four of the right hours, I can get far more done than in eight of the wrong hours. Also, while I am a firm believer in que sera sera and that the world will NOT end tomorrow, I make a point of pushing myself to put things away now rather than later and getting distasteful things done first so I don't have to keep worrying about them. I always weigh the benefits of doing something now or doing it later. Time wasters have their place which is usually later after my hours and sometimes I actually find some nugget in them that makes them not such a time waster.

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  24. Oh Self discipline...Every morning I try to start the right way- yoga, reading, etc...and then check my FB page, but more often it doesn't happen. But hey, realizing I have a problem is the first step towards eliminating that problem, right? Maybe...

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  25. Alexander, this is wonderful advice. It's hard to be disciplined in the wake of all the distractions we have now. Even though technology makes life easier in many ways, I think life was much simpler before we were plugged in all the time. Thanks for your insight!

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  26. Totally me! I have to make a list, then shut down everything and give everything its own time. Never hurry. Pace myself. That lets me get most everything done w/o stressing or freaking out!

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  27. As a teacher, when it comes to marking I am remarkable good at procrastinating. In fact I think it may be a teaching superpower as I know a lot of my friends who are the same. Distractions are the bane of a teacher and bloggers life and this is such a great post to remind us of the dangers. It really made me smile.

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  28. No matter our intentions, let's face it, we are all addicted to our phones and our apps. It's hard to put it down and when we do, we are constantly checking, checking, checking for emails or messages. I love technology but I really think it is taking us out of the real world and placing us into a world where we are virtually alone with our phones.

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  29. Yes! In college I used to use a program that would make me unable to use certain sites on the internet for a certain amount of time --- this thing was hardcore and would work even if you restarted your computer! It was really awesome for productivity and since I could block things for as short a time as an hour or so, I didn't feel like I was depriving myself, just prioritizing!

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  30. I do get easily distracted, so I can totally relate to this. I try to keep my mobile as app free as possible! :)

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  31. Sometimes I think it would be easier to go back to life without cell phones because sometimes we feel obligated to return every call, text, Facebook comment instantaneously. I love being connected, but I too can waste a lot of time on social media and being connected.

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  32. I am the best at wasting time. I guess that is not the best quality in the world. LOL. I have been getting better and setting smaller achievable goals for myself. I do find that I am distracted very easily, so I have to put everything away for me to get things done. Thank you for all the great information and help. One knows I can use it.

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  33. I definitely understand what you're saying! It's so easy to get caught up on Facebook, reading blogs and then an hour has gone by and you haven't done anything productive, but sometimes you need a break :)

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  34. It's certainly not hard to see why more and more kids are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD these days considering the environment they're growing up in. It's maddening when I can see my husband channel flip on the TV for hours. I always want to tell him that if he's channel flipping, there isn't anything good on so he should just turn it off! I know once in awhile I get really distracted when I have work to do, but those are on the rare occasions where I don't have the energy or heart to put into what I need to get done. Thanks for a great reminder about staying focused!

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  35. This is something I need to work on! for sure.

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  36. Yes! Start small, and it snow balls. Self discipline in myself doesn't happen overnight. Thank you!

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  37. Ugh. I feel like this is me. I have such a distraction problem. I'm starting to make changes to my routine to trick myself out of it. This week - cutting the cable cord. I figure if I get rid of it I will be forcing myself to be more productive. Self discipline is hard!

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  38. This is so true! And what is even worse is many of us check our social media updates in the name of blogging. We need to be on social media to be connected with our readers and other bloggers. But, like you say, we don't need every single notification distracting us. Since we know how much social media can suck us in when we just planned to check in for a minutes, it is really best to shut off the notifications and set aside specific times to check in. Using a timer can help too!

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  39. I do the same thing! I get on my phone to pay a bill and quickly forget when I see I have an email or notifications.

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  40. I can relate to this! I could start out by researching something, and a few minutes later, I'm busy reading other things that have nothing to do with the original topic - oops. I get distracted from things away from the computer. I could walk into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, get everything set up, another thought pops into my head and I walk away, only to come back a few minutes later and realize I forgot to turn the coffee machine on.

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  41. So true! Distractions keep me from really focusing on my work during the day. Some days I feel like a dog distracted by everything.... um, squirrel! ... food! Sometimes I just have to shut down social media and focus on writing or my photography.

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  42. This totally applies to me when I'm trying to get blogging work done. I already only have a few hours a day to get work done on the blog, but then I get sucked into the Facebook feed and lose track of time. Maybe I'll try blocking it until I get my work done!

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