There’s been a common theme in my conversations with clients recently.
Whether it’s in relation to the carefully planned day of household tasks that flew out the window… the goals that aren’t being moved towards or even the fact that usually they (and I!) never feel good after investing a chunk of time scrolling through some social media feed.
It’s possibly The most underated yet impactful success habit I know. In todays show I’m discussing FOCUS specifically as it relates to: Thriving In An Era Of Epic Distraction.
Focus has featured in Healthification previously. In show #001 I looked at it more from the angle of why it’s vital to focus on what you want… as what you focus on expands.
Today let’s get strategic and check out the 3 Inputs that will allow you to Focus and Thrive In An Era Of Epic Distraction.
Regardless of how hugely compelling your goal is… how much pleasure you associate with achieving it… how much pain you attach to not achieving it: If you let yourself get in the wrong STATE you’re going to find focus extremely challenging.
Sadly, I’m talking from personal experience today.
Pointless Information. Valueless Food. And the thought of crawling back into bed are by far the most attractive options today. The funny thing is, these are exactly the 3 inputs that led me to be in an UN-focused and UN-thriving state today.
So, let’s get rolling with the advice I should have taken yesterday and INPUT #1.
INPUT #1. Sleep.
I know it’s nothing new and exciting however it’s hugely impactful. Last night I got a little less than 6 hours sleep and that really does not set me up for my most focused day.
In fact it sets me up for attacking that easiest action on my to-do list first… rather than starting with my most important action. Although to be honest I’m more in meander mode as opposed to an attack approach! In a sleep deprived state you’re not only going to find those tougher yet higher value tasks easy to stall on you’re also going to find the limitless little daily distractions much tougher to ignore.
More on the limitless daily distractions soon… for now let’s move our focus to something else you’re also going to be much more tempted by and that is INPUT #2…
INPUT #2. Fuel.
You see it’s potentially a vicious cycle. Once you tick one UNideal INPUT box then you’re that much more tempted by the next UNideal INPUT. Sleep deprived?
Well the easy solution for that energy slump is going to some sort of quick-and-easy-refined-crap-o-la.
It’s almost irrelevant that you and I both know rubbish fuel is not the solution. Once we’re in a sleep deprived state our bodies are literally screaming at us for help… sugar. Sugar. SUGAR!!! Even if you spend years reprogramming the way you think about fuel as I have, well, the only difference here is that instead of reaching for the muffin or choc biscuits I’m struggling to keep my mitts off that packet of roasted cashews. My body is screaming… fat. Fat. FAT!!!
Either way I’m distracted. And eating too much sugar OR too much fat is not going to get either of us back to thriving, focused mode. In fact it’s absolutely the type of fuel that makes us much more likely to let INPUT #3 sneak on into our day…
INPUT #3. Information.
The wrong information will kill your best-laid intentions for a productive day.
It might not be the movie you decided to go to on Sunday afternoon rather than stay home to make meals on mass and plan your week to come… and possibly you’ve already cut the several hours T.V. time each evening… and I know you wouldn’t dream of day time T.V.
However, what about that tendency you have to flick through Facebook or Instagram whenever you’re stuck at lights… waiting in a queue or even as you walk?
I have to constantly catch myself on this one.
As protective as I am of my big blocks of time I still let sneaky information assassins creep into my in-between time. I might even tell myself I’m multi-tasking. However that’s rubbish.
Even on the occasion you keep that social media checking to short stints of time it’s still a distraction from your most effective focused thinking. If you’re honest with yourself, how often do you jump off social media and think:
“WOW, I feel so much better about myself now!”
=> I’ll speak for myself not YOU, however maybe you can relate… all too often I’ll be left playing the comparison game and finding myself lacking.
Or even “Alright, now I’m super focused and inspired to launch into my next task!”
=> again speaking for myself… it’s super easy to hop straight from one account to the next perpetuating a rather pointless even numbing habit that eats time and sucks energy.
Of course there is a time and a place for mindlessness… however I think my message today is that it’s important to be mindful of the effects the inputs you choose will have on your ability to focus and Thrive In An Era Of Epic Distraction.
I really think it used to more simple.
Before mobiles I’d meet my friends at the time we arranged last week and we’d hang out together focused on each other… or at the very least focused on that buff dude across the bar…
Children are meant to be easily distracted however I remember spending hours at a time focused on ONE thing I was passionate about. Whether it was drawing or BMX’ing or Skateboarding or creating some fantasy land for some fantasy animal… I wasn’t nearly as scattered and prone to bouncing from one thing to the next as I feel like I am now!
Now that’s not meant to sound pessimistic because I believe we live in an era of both limitless opportunities as well as epic distractions… I’m grateful for the opportunities and I’m committed to one by one out planning the distractions.
I think it’s time to get positive and to get actionable.
The action step is 3-part.
It’s considering each of your INPUTS that I mentioned today. So that’s your Sleep. Your Fuel. Your Information.
What is one upgrade you can make to each today with the knowledge that it’s going to help you stay in your most effective, distraction resilient state?
I’ll share my upgrades and I’d love to hear yours too. You can let me now via the comments below. Ok,
#1. SLEEP. I’m going to RE-commit to NON-NEGOTIABLE 7 hours sleep. I’m usually pretty good however I let myself down this week.
#2. FUEL. Again, generally I’ve got this box ticked however I had one drink too many (like literally one more than my goal!) this week and it really wasn’t worth it.
#3. INFORMATION. This is where I’ve got most lax recently. I used to only check social media when I had a predetermined task to accomplish at a set time and that is exactly the approach I need to RE-implement.
Todays quote is from John Di Lemme, “Your results are the product of either personal focus or personal distractions. The choice is yours.”
That’s it for me today, talking of effective-distraction-resilient-states – it’s meditation time – I’m up to 8 minutes twice a day and I LOVE IT.
I hope you can join me for the Wednesday show where I weigh-in on: You’ve Got This.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Fat Loss for those with a Love of VICE
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.