“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
― Winston S. Churchill
Consider your distractions as barking dogs who will seldom bite but you still give them a lot of importance!
Inequalities in the power of FOCUS of people get reflected in the varying degrees of success which they finally end up achieving in this world. Most people are swimming in the tides of distractions while trying to fish for pearls of success. See it simple- ‘If in today’s distraction full world- you really wish to achieve something colossal then you genuinely need to learn to stop letting your will power get chloroformed by petty pleasures (distractions)’. Any success needs a mighty effort but unfortunately we are living in a world where unnecessary things have become our biggest necessities. And it is this unnecessary stuff only which ultimately turns out to be our biggest distraction on the hard rocky path of concentration & self control.
If you are used to giving in to distractions, everything around you is going to make it super easy for you. Phone calls and social media timelines, emails and notifications, and the restless brain’s own vivid imagination, your own tendencies (basic feverish nature) – everything will try to pry you away from what you are doing, inviting you very invitingly to take a stupid hiatus from concentrated focus. At the end you become like a restless puppet; too stirred to focus at anything.
Technology is not the only one to blame. From the smoke room breaks and the 24×7 ‘gossip’ mode of people to the addiction with chasing relationships – our lives are full of distractors. And 95% of the times, getting distracted is a choice you are making.
Remember this always – How you live your everyday, is how you live your life. So, if your days are full of distractions, your life will be too. Don’t complain when one day you wake up and see that you have landed very far off from where you wanted to be. If you are choosing to get distracted more often than not, this is the tone you are setting for your life.
My profession is wonderful. As a motivational speaker in India, when I address the problems of my people, I also end up finding answers for myself often. Here’s what I have learned about How to laser focus on your Goals in this distraction full world:
- Discipline is the word!
Discipline and distraction have a downward sloping relationship I would say. The more disciplined you are, the less scope for distraction you have. Imagine getting up at 5am to get your work done. What will distract you at that saintly hour? And if you are that kind of person who gets distracted even at 5, then you need a very solid hormonal check in life.
Take this statement word to word, take this on face value. And let it hit you hard –
If you are repeatedly getting distracted from what you are doing, then you don’t want to do it badly enough.
Fix discipline as the centre of your universe. It leaves little room for anything that is not worth your time. All top sportspeople, movie stars or any achiever who you can think of are super disciplined people who eat by the clock in measured calories and who work out by the same clock too. Can you imagine the magnitude of sacrifices which a Beckham or a Roger Federer would be making to be where they are today? They just keep their discipline ahead of anything else. They are dogged about self-discipline. That’s it.
- A Himalayan Will Power
Who will fuel your discipline? Your own will power. And developing the sheer will to not give in to temptations is not an easy thing. The one big enemy that you have to fight is your own momentum.
Let this sink in too –
People don’t do what they know they should DO. They do what their momentum makes them do.
It is true for everyone! And your momentum is your status quo. No matter how long your list of To-Dos and dreams in life, how you spend your everyday is the sole determinant of how many you strike on that list.
Until you perform the action, your intent or your promise does nothing to your propensity to succeed or finish a task. You can raise your will power by selecting small tasks first and then refusing to submit to failure. As your will strengthens and your confidence grows you can begin picking up larger tasks. Baby steps count.
- First come first serve
I see a lot of people putting off small tasks for later.
If it takes two minutes to do a thing, do it and get it out of your system. Most of the things don’t take much time. We just assume they will and we keep putting them off. I have recently started doing this where I wake up and make a list of my To-Dos. And as the day passes, I take immense pleasure in just striking out the tasks manually. Such satisfaction! That every day list keeps me from my distractions.
- Replace the Clutter with Cleanliness
Being organized may not be everyone’s cup of tea. And some people argue that chaos is the sign of creativity. I disagree here. Studies have shown that the chances of getting distracted are 80% higher in people who have disorganized work stations. The reason being – when you have everything in place, there is little around you at the time to keep you from your task at hand. Cleanliness helps you to keep your distractions at bay by removing quite a few distracters from your environment. It is a physical way of tackling your distracters.
A small hack- ‘work on your desk always’. The moment you take your work to your pillow and blanket, the screen automatically shifts to YouTube videos and TV series because – the pillow is for comfort. It gives your mind the signal that now is the time to relax.
- Let technology NOT help you
While writing this, I did not need the internet. It was very distracting so I switched it off. I switch off everything which can distract me while doing anything important. Our mind is typically very weak; hence the need to cauterize/ cut off the people, situations and things which stimulate distractions.
Thousands of generations lived without the internet. And their cumulative hard work has given us the world we have today. That Wi-Fi switch on your laptop does have an off button, in case you did not notice!
Just try to forget your earphones at home one day and see how much work you get done in the office. No earphones mean no way of quietly wasting time. You will need to waste it with volume up, publicly. That might just stop you from wasting it altogether!
The internet and data services are here to help you. It is literally the whole world at your fingertips. You can either take its help by using it to sharpen your skills and expand your knowledge, or you can use it to while and fritter away your time by scrolling through newsfeeds and timelines of people who have no stake in your life.
That itch in your unspeakable parts to check your FB & Instagram notifications – if you can’t control it with your will power – then control it by keeping your phone face down, on silent mode and off vibration – when you are working on something important. Let no amount of pings and pongs deter you from finishing your task at hand. No point staring at your mobile phone or screens the entire day. Be a modern monk. It works magic.
Having a focus that is so on-point, so bang-on – is a good feeling no? I have seen people who are so damn focused; nothing deters them – relationships, casual relationships, extreme weathers, and mountains of work, anything under the sun. They know how to achieve anything via the most economical route via their power of conscious concentration. Finally they rely on their severe sense of discipline to see it through further for them, without getting distracted. You too can install this internal GPS for your own self and feel the wow.
See it is simple- If you can not consciously focus at something for large chunks of time; you cannot achieve great success (material or spiritual). So, strengthen your mind first. It is all in the mind. And mind can be domesticated. All super achievers did it. You too can.
Rise & Shine!
Akash Gautam is one of the most sought after & popular Motivational Speakers in India & Asia. His pioneering work as a Keynote Speaker, has seen him speak at the world’s Top Corporate organizations. His Corporate Events & Youth Events are very popular amongst audiences because of his unique genre – sarcasm, humour & story telling. You may know much more about him HERE