One of the biggest obstacles standing in your way from achieving greatness and becoming all that you can be in life and in business is the never-ending flood of noise and distractionsin the world. We live in a world where these things are constant. Everything from television, phones, text messages and the Internet, to work obligations and family duties, demands our attention almost every minute of every day.
Yet, you need not fall into the high percentage of men and women who sabotage their own success by never recognizing that they are the ones in charge of where and what they direct their time and focus to.
I’m always amazed when I hear someone proclaim unhappiness with where he or she is at in life. Then I pay closer attention to the complainer’s everyday movements and energy focus. I typically witness activities like surfing the Internet instead of finishing a proposal to send to a prospect — or texting friends instead of making sales calls — or filling down time with reality television instead of investing in personal and professional development.
These are just a few examples of the small distractions throughout the day that can tremendously hurt people’s chances of achieving greatness and moving closer to where they aspire to be.
Distractions aren’t just the enemy for individuals, but for teams and organizations. Every single day, we are faced with a countless number of distractions with the potential to negatively affect performance and success levels.
Here are three ways to minimize those distractions and make sure you, your team or organization thrives.
1. Stay mission focused.
As human beings, we yearn for meaning and fulfillment, and one of the quickest ways to achieve that and simultaneously minimize distractions is to stay mission focused in all we do. It’s easy to wake up each morning and go through the motions and coast along, but when you stay mission focused, distractions never stand a chance. To help yourself in this regard, post your mission statement in a place where you will see it all throughout the day.
I have my own statement on my desktop and laptop, in my phone, and on a notecard I carry around with me everywhere I go. This forces me to constantly stay mission focused and ignore the “noise” that comes up throughout the day. When we don’t stay mission focused, distractions intrude more often. People forget why they’re here or where they’re going because they’ve become sidetracked.
2. Understand and analyze your weak points.
A beneficial exercise for me was the time I devoted a whole weekend to analyzing the biggest distractions getting in the way of my achieving some of my biggest goals and dreams. I was feeling frustrated and unproductive so I spent time going through my daily routine and schedule, and tracking exactly how my time was being spent.
I finally was able to be honest with myself and see three key distractions that had been preventing me from getting my most important tasks and projects done. I wasn’t aware of them before I made some changes.
You don’t have to spend an entire weekend to analyze your biggest distractions, but spend at least 20 minutes and see what you can do less of throughout the day that will free you up for more quality work time and time to spend on things that matter most.
Most people don’t do this. But if you do, you’ll realize what your obstacles have been.
3. Get serious about scheduling everything and time blocking your days.
The easiest way to fight distractions is to schedule the most important projects, work and priorities that you absolutely need to do each day. Something that has worked well for me is time-blocking, which entails going back to my roots as an athlete, when I had a ridiculously disciplined schedule and the whole day blocked out. When you set aside a specific time in which you devote undivided attention solely to that urgent project or task, distractions and “noise” are greatly minimized.
So, preferably the night before, schedule your next day, blocking out your most important tasks and priorities. This will prompt you to wake up in the morning knowing that you not only have a game plan, but know exactly when something has to get done.
Every single day, millions of people are victimized by the noise and distraction in their lives. Don’t let that happen to you. Intead, be intentional. Get rid of the distractions that don’t serve a greater purpose, to get you to where you want to go in life and in business.