It might sound strange, but a lot of people don’t know how to identify a distraction. Distractions aren’t always negative, but one thing’s for sure— they’re always knocking at your door.
For instance, I was leaving for the office a few weeks ago, and I got a call from my wife. She said our family dog was very sick and that she was going to need an emergency surgery. Then, once she has the surgery, she won’t be able to be left alone… She’ll need constant supervision, 24 hours a day for the next 24 days. THAT, my friends, is a distraction.
These are the kind of things you can’t control. A lot of you are probably approaching middle age, like me, and our lives are filled to the brim with distractions! For one, I have teenagers. Teenagers are the ultimate distraction! A lot of you have aging parents that require financial support or even regular supervision. These are distractions that are going to be a part of your life… You can’t delegate them to someone else or make them go away. They distract you from your focus and daily productivity, but they’re also incredibly important. For these people, you actually need to get BETTER at being there. Maybe that means maximizing your productivity while you’re at work so you don’t have to work late and miss your kid’s baseball game, or maybe it means pre-planning one day a week to visit your Mom and bring her a home cooked meal. Whatever the case, do what needs to be done to assess these distractions and simplify your life.
The other types of distractions are ones you can either remove entirely or delegate to someone else. I like to call this your “Should Not Do” list. This list contains things that irritate you, frustrate you, waste your time, and that you are, generally, not very good at. You could either continue to do these things and resent them, and let this resentment affect your mood and make you a negative, pain in the neck to be around, OR you could pay someone else to do them. For example, I realized a long time ago how much I hate going into chaotic stores to shop for groceries. It stresses me out and feels like a big waste of time. That’s why I hired someone else to do it for me, and now I have back that chunk of time to do other more productive things. I also don’t particularly love to hang up Christmas lights. I love seeing them up, and they make my house very festive, but when I’m putting them up— good grief! I can never get them just right and it makes me want to curse like a sailor! So, there are people that come out and put up our Christmas lights for us. On the day after Thanksgiving when my family and I wake up, our house is a giant twinkling gingerbread house. It’s incredible.
So how are you going to evaluate your distractions going into 2015? What distractions are necessary, and which can you get rid of? You need to be able to refocus on your target, and distractions are the number one obstacle to hitting it. It doesn’t mean these distractions are bad things, they just take a lot of thought, time, and energy, and can cause a lot of stress!
Let me tell you something. Distractions come knocking on your door every single day. 365 days of distraction. But GREATNESS doesn’t ever “come knocking.” You have to chase it down, and work harder than you’ve ever imagined. You are going to have to make sacrifices and take risks. You are going to have to want it more than you’ve ever wanted anything. So, how badly do you want it? And what are you going to do in 2015 to get it?
Until next time,