Distraction....or a Tool?

Distraction....or a Tool?
"Everything is a distraction or a tool."

I heard that phrase while listening to a podcast a long time ago and it just stuck with me. My first thought was that the word "EVERYTHING" casts a pretty big net.  But then, I started to think about it....  This phrase can pretty much apply to EVERYTHING.

If you're trying to get in shape... a pan of brownies is a DISTRACTION and a workout buddy is a TOOL.

If you need to clean your house for a big gathering tomorrow... going down the rabbit hole of the foot-tall pile of mail may be a DISTRACTION, but cranking some upbeat music while you clean would be a motivating TOOL.

I think you get the picture.

It got me thinking about EVERYTHING I do, especially when it comes to my goals-whether those goals be business, health-related or something else.  

Is what I'm doing a DISTRACTION or a TOOL?  Heck, not just what I'm doing, but what I'm thinking, too!  Did you know that according to a Harvard study, we spend almost 50% of our waking time thinking about something other than what we're supposed to be doing?  Yikes!  
With the New Year right around the corner, so many people will soon be setting goals...goals that will likely never be achieved.  Wanna know why?  Too much time is wasted on DISTRACTIONS and not enough time on TOOLS!

So, how does a person go about managing distractions vs tools?  Here are some tips:

1. First of all, be HONEST with yourself!  Let's call a spade, a spade!  At any given moment, ask yourself if what you're doing or thinking is a DISTRACTION or a TOOL, and give it the label it deserves.  You can't eliminate the distractions if you're not even acknowledging them for what they truly are.  

2.  Work to reduce/remove the DISTRACTIONS.  Once you identify the distractions, get rid of them.  If you are easily distracted by your phone, turn it off for 20 minute blocks of uninterrupted work time.  If you get distracted by social media, turn it off and only give yourself set times to check it--or mindlessly surf, if that's your thing. ;)  There are ways to reduce/remove all distractions.  If you doubt that, let me know and I'll help you out.

3.  Identify your TOOLS.  Being 'busy' doesn't automatically mean you're accomplishing anything that will move you towards your goal.  In my opinion, personal development and a positive mindset are some of your most valuable tools!  Devote time to that every day!  (That's another blog!)  Other tools will be dependent on the goal you have, the industry you're in, etc.  The right tools will also vary from person to person.  Learn from people who've achieved what it is that you want to achieve.  What tools worked for them?

But more importantly, figure out what works best for YOU.  When are you most efficient?  Do you work better with music or total silence?  For me, I've found that I work best with some Motivation, Abundance, Highest Potential or citrus essential oils in my diffuser.  I also find that I stay more focused when I play some binaural beats or 528 Hz music in the background.  Just do a search on YouTube for all sorts of options.

4.  Set 3 tasks that you will accomplish that day.  ONLY 3....and DO THEM.  Keep a master to-do list, a running inventory of the tasks & ideas that come to your mind.  Each evening, look over the master list and pick 3 highest priority tasks.  Setting these 3 tasks the night before, allows you to hit the ground running the next morning. 

Make sure the 3 tasks are small enough so that they truly can be accomplished.  For example, if you have a multi-day event coming up, break it down into doable tasks such as make a list of event location options, meet with the caterer & create agenda outline.   If you accomplish your 3 tasks, go back to your master list & pick the next most important task.

Following these 4 easy tips will get you moving in the right direction! 

Now....start asking yourself, throughout the day....  

"Is what I'm doing a DISTRACTION or a TOOL for what I'd like to accomplish?"

FINAL TIP:  Print this blog pic and hang it in your work-space as a reminder.  And remember, 'progress, not perfection'.  A step in the right direction is better than taking no step at all. :)