There is a joke amongst my friends that I get distracted easily. You will often hear one of my friends yell “SQUIRREL!” when I am talking as a friendly reminder that I am at it again… I’m getting distracted.
Since starting WellCurated, I have become distracted many times even forgetting my ‘why’ and chasing something that I really didn’t even want. I’ve gone in many different directions and changed the direction that I was heading in so many times that I can’t even remember what I was doing last year.
My business has become the biggest distraction in my life. This business is the greatest gift that I have ever received but it has been the biggest distraction to the most important things in my life. Constantly thinking about who my ideal client is, what I can offer, what I don’t want to offer, emails, social media, what do other business owners think of me, how much money I’m bringing, meetings, phone calls- they are constantly tugging at my attention and threatening the things that are most important to me.
Living my best life.
Over the next little while, I am committing to taking the steps to avoid the distraction and be present in my personal life. These are the things in life that matter most to me and I definitely owe them some of my undivided attention.
My friend and colleague, Aelea is a life coach with Wonder to Wander and has always been such a huge inspiration to me. Aelea has always been a patient wealth of knowledge for me and so I reached out to her to give me 3 tips on staying focused and ditching the distraction…
Hi! Aelea here from Wander to Wonder. I am a life coach and yoga teacher and I can attest to how often Noella has ‘squirrel’ moments! We all get distracted at times and the distractions are often coming from a place of not being tuned into our why, being caught up in comparison instead of counting our own blessings, or forgetting that our own lives have purpose and that we can do amazing things that will be different from others– our paths all look different.
Distractions can come in many forms– from Netflix binges to mindless scrolling on Instagram, pivoting your focus every time something new and shiny crosses your path or seeing someone do something and thinking ‘I can do that, too!’. So let’s dive into how you can ditch distraction and stay focused on your unique and amazing offerings to the world.
1 – Tune into your ‘why’
Your ‘why’ is often the reason you do what you do. It’s the driving force behind who you are and what brings you a feeling of purpose and passion in life. Your ‘why’ can be your family, it can be living a higher calling or it could be trying to make a better life for your life. Whatever your ‘why’ is, make sure you take time to really define it. Right now, you’ve probably already thought of something that is the reason you get out of bed every morning that you are passionate about. Ask yourself why your ‘why’ matters to you and how life would be without your ‘why’. Really form a deep connection to your ‘why’. Acknowledge your ‘why’ daily by writing it out on a piece of paper and putting it by your bedside, in your office, or as your phone wallpaper.
2 – Ingest media consciously
We’ve heard a lot about the conscious consumption of social media, but let’s take this a step further to include all media– which yes, involves our beloved Netflix or, In Noella’s case, the Hallmark Channel! Set yourself a weekly or daily limit on the media you consume. Set this when you’re in a good mental space– perhaps at the very beginning of your week before you become overwhelmed with anything that happens to come up. Then, try your absolute best to stick to your limit. With social media, limit your consumption during the day (which can distract you from getting work done– especially tasks you’re not excited about doing) by deleting the app, then redownloading in the evenings. For Netflix or other streaming, before you begin watching, set yourself a little timeline. I like to watch Netflix while I fold laundry and generally try to avoid putting a movie on because I know I’ll spend the entirety of the movie folding laundry that could have taken me a single episode of Friends or The Office to complete.
3 – Express some gratitude!
Gratitude is probably one of my favourite things! Seeking for things to be grateful for forces you to think of the positive aspects of your life and increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex– the region of the brain that is involved in impulse control and decision-making. So, in less sciency terms, focusing on the positive in your life has the ability to keep from being distracted by positively influencing your impulses and decisions to let distraction take over. When you’re feeling that impulse to get away from what you’re doing and grab your phone or do something off task, try thinking of 5 things in your life that you are grateful for. List them off, smile because life has beautiful things to offer you, then use those positive vibes to jump back into your task.
Expressing gratitude is also a key way to stay in YOUR lane. We are all designed uniquely. We are all amazing and can do incredible things in this world. Comparison can cause us to see what someone else is doing and go ‘I want to do that, too!’ often thinking that because the life of the person you are comparing yourself to just seems so much better than yours. Expressing gratitude in these moments of comparison can help you realize how blessed you really are and keep you focusing on your own strengths.
I’m a big fan of gratitude! Click HERE to join the list and receive my 5-day gratitude challenge!
4 – Productive distractions
Instead of reaching for Instagram or Facebook when you feel the need for a distraction coming on, intentionally get outside for a 5 or 10-minute walk, go pet your cat or dog, or read a few pages of a book you enjoy. This productive distraction can actually help you reset your brain and feel a renewed sense of energy when you sit back at your desk to work. This is also a great way to get away from screens and embrace the world around you. Try stretching your shoulders, do some neck rolls and even some jumping jacks to get your blood flow going and see how that proves to bring you back to your desk more focused and energized.
5 – Create a task list
If you find that you are trying to spend time with friends and family, but you’re getting distracted from your business, create a simple to-do list on your phone or a piece of paper to get all your thoughts and ideas out of your head. Often, until they are out of your mind, they’ll keep distracting you. Take a few moments to just write it all out, getting it out of your head. As soon as it’s all out you’ll feel lighter and more ready to be fully present in the moment. When you finish writing out your task list, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing you don’t have to try to remember everything and can now continue to enjoy the precious moments you have with those you love.
Ditching distractions can be hard if you don’t know the right tools to use to get you out of a distracted slump. Try setting a reminder that will go off every single day in your phone that says something like “Count your blessings!”, “Remember your why!” or “Be present!”. When this reminder goes off, it will give you a little nudge to stay focused on what matters most.
I’m curious, do you have distractions in your life that takes you away from the things that matter most and what are you doing to stay focused?