- Do your ABC’s (be aware of your options)
- Set your intentions
- Use technology to fight back
- Tame the tide of negative emotions
- Create space
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The solution to dealing with distractions that can be controlled is simple: eliminate the interruptions ahead of time. If you frequently stumble into productivity potholes while on the internet, disconnect while doing your most important work. If checking email is eating away at your productivity, or email alerts are preventing you from focusing on your work, disable those beeps and bloops, and turn off the new message notifications that pop into the corner of your screen as you’re working. Schedule a few windows throughout the day to intentionally check your email, instead checking it habitually.
The solution to dealing with distractions that cannot be controlled: The key to dealing with these derailments isn’t to prevent them from happening—their very nature prevents you from doing so. Instead, it’s up to you to change how you respond—quickly getting back on track after annoying interruptions, and enjoying any fun interruptions that happen to arise.
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For how long can you work on a difficult task without losing focus?
Let’s measure it. Get hold of a stopwatch – then choose an unpleasant task you’ve been putting off.
This is your distractibility score. You now have a measure you can improve on over time. Think about brain plasticity – you can change anything if you put your mind to it.
Can you manage 2 hours’ sustained work on daunting tasks? No? How about 10 minutes? Don’t worry, you can increase your time gradually and at least you now have a clear goal to reach.
Record any interruption and go back to work. First you’ll record 6 interruptions, then one. Then none.
Often our mental energy is consumed by other people and things that we either have no control over or are a distraction from us.
Over the past 14 months, how much time has been spent thinking about them?
Her mind is rarely on her and even if it is not to the extent that it was previously, she thinks about him a hell of a lot.
Other important questions: When you are thinking about them, what is it about? Imagining how different things could be if only they changed? Putting them on a pedestal? Analysing what they said and did to try to figure out where you went wrong?
If more time is spent thinking about them than you, you are engaging in avoidance and if you continue with a cycle of ‘thinking’ and obsessing, not only will you find reasons to blame yourself, but you won’t process the information, accept what has happened and move forward.
How much time has been spent thinking about you? Focusing on you? Of that time, how much of it was positive?
What’s the longest period of time that you have felt happy, positive, personally secure and just generally ‘good’?
****it’s that she won’t get over him as long as he has a significant amount of space in her head.
If you give the majority of your headspace to a distraction, to things you have no control over, to irrelevant stuff, to less important stuff to another person that clouds out you, you’ll end up treading water and not accomplishing very much.
***You may think you’re applying yourself because the little you do feels like a lot of effort, but if in context, it’s being diminished by thoughts consumed by someone else or negative stuff, you’re negating those efforts.
Getting over someone, learning to love yourself, filling out your life – all of these things take application and the reality is that application and results don’t happen when the majority of your time is spent thinking about someone and things that you have absolutely zero control over or don’t bear a constructive relevance to your present and future. That’s not to take away from whatever efforts you have made but it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself.
***nobody gets anywhere or does anything if their mind isn’t thinking about the thing that they need to do. If you rely on it all happening unconsciously or it being sandwiched between the pain, you end up with mixed results. If I have something that needs to be done this week and I spend the majority of my efforts doing and thinking about something else entirely, lo and behold it doesn’t happen. Multiply that over weeks and months and you can see where it’s heading.
Sometimes we don’t realise that we’re not as focused on ourselves as we should be. It becomes habit to be consumed by someone else so that we don’t even notice. We need to be present for our own lives and wake up. There are periods of my life that are hazy – I was so consumed with ‘love’ and pain, everything was out of focus, murky, blurred, tinged. You don’t get that time back. It’s totally OK to be hurt, it’s totally OK to grieve your relationship but don’t make it your ‘role’. Take the focus off them and bring it back to you.