Do you find yourself distracted? Losing focus? Doing things that take you away from what you’d really like to get done? Chances are the the deepest reason this is happening is that you are releasing too much of your stress hormones. Just one release will compromise your thinking, memory, decision-making and willpower for hours. Here are some tips to help you increase your awareness of what the distractions are, and how to start reducing them.
- Deepen your mission in the moment. If we are really committed to what we are doing, there is less chance that a distraction will interrupt our flow. It seems as though, much of the time, we are only half-heartedly committed to our various endeavors. Asking yourself the deeper why can strengthen your conviction. Having deep discussions with someone about your why can also do this. For example, I have been half-heartedly reducing my sugar intake for about nine months. Over the holidays, I had a wonderful phone conversation with my second cousin in New Hampshire and we got talking about the diabetes II in our family. I watched her mother lose her eyesight and feet. I watched my father and his struggles, and my cousin shared her own. This conversation deepened my understanding and conviction, and sugar is no longer a distraction from my greater mission.
- Ask yourself. “What is distracting me?” You can take a distraction inventory, using all your senses. I call my current fb live videos Taking Out the Trash because on my morning walks, I used to be distracted and annoyed by the trash in our neighborhood. The cups, bags, cigarette butts, wrappers. It was a visual distraction from my pleasant meditation with my dog. So I started to pick up the trash along the route. Joyfully. Glad to be of service to my neighbors along the route. (in their 80’s, 90’s and even one who is 100!) Curiously noting the odd piece. Happy, when the next day, there is no visual clutter. Sounds can be distracting. Smells. Temperature.
- Next, ask yourself empowering questions like, “How can I reduce this distraction? “How can I co-exist with this distraction?” “How can I keep this distraction from taking me out of my flow?” The answer may not come immediately, but once you ask the question, your mind and body will seek answers.