One of the most common challenges my coaching clients struggle with is handling distractions. They get frustrated because succumbing to distractions stops them from doing the important things that help them move forwards towards achieving their bigger goals.
I sometimes fall foul of this too. This week, I had a couple of almost completely free days and thus more time on my hands than usual. So you’d think I got lots done? Wrong! (you knew that was coming didn’t you) For example, one morning I somehow decided that looking at Facebook page analytics was fascinating and critical(!) and also that I really should catch up on all this month’s tweets from those I follow … and all the links in the tweets ! 2 hours later, time for a sandwich and catch up on the day’s headlines on Sky news. An hour later (well you shouldn’t rush digesting lunch should you!) and that morning… and half of the day… had passed forever.
Of course once something like this has happened, the best thing to do is quickly mop up the milk, dry the tears and then try to learn from the experience. Thinking about this led me to hunt out and reflect on some top tips for staying focussed and defeating the “time stealers” and “attractive procrastination opportunities” that present themselves to us daily.
So I started to compile a list of things to share with you. Then in the middle of my search I came across this excellent infographic from Learning Fundamentals which summarises most of them! Go and check out the site (it’s great) but not yet… I don’t want you to get distracted from reading this post 😉
I think I’ll make a personalised version for myself and put it where I’ll see it several times during the day. Visual reminders like this can be very powerful in raising our awareness and spurring us on to take action.
And I believe that sorting this stuff out is very important. One of the polar opposites to making the most of ourselves is getting “stuck in a rut”. I think most of our “ruts” are the eventual result of distractions or a lack of focus. Getting distracted is easy. Losing focus is easy. What’s hard is realising what’s going on and then doing something about it.
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” ~ Christopher Columbus