Discover the Reasons for the Distractions That are Killing Your Progress and Become Free From Them for Good

by Brad Isaac on January 6, 2008

101_goal_setting_breakthroughs_2008 This is tip #12 of the 31 day series 101 Goal Setting Breakthroughs: A 31 Day Blog Series That Will Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever! Subscribe to my free RSS feed to get the rest of the series and never miss a tip!

bomb This is one of the posts you should not ignore. The topics covered and your application of them will decide whether you will succeed or fail at your personal goals.

Have you ever found yourself feeling exhilarated because you were working fast and furious on an important task, when suddenly you find yourself checking email, browsing the web or shuffling papers on your desk? If so, no need to feel bad, it might not be your fault. It’s likely that now, we are more distracted more than any other time in history.

Like being on auto-pilot, we can immediately switch gears from productive work to something non-productive. Have you ever asked why this is? It’s an important question for anyone who wants to succeed at their life goals.

And here’s the kicker. The people who stay targeted on one task at a time will succeed. The ones who jump from one task to another won’t. It’s that simple.

In the last post we discussed the first step in fighting the distractions that prevent you from focusing on your goal. Listing what it is in our own lives that distract us is the first step. The next thing to do is to meet our distractions head on and forbid them from interfering with our progress.

Here is how to discover the cause of distractions and what you can do about it:

1. Discover why you are becoming distracted – From above, if you are working well, but suddenly(automatically) end up surfing, checking email or gossiping around the water cooler, there could be a simple explanation. If you are like many of us, we work on a project as long as it’s easy and smooth. But when we get stuck or if the project gets boring for a minute or two, it’s easier to surf. It’s natural for people to take the path of least resistance – so take a hard look at what you were doing right before you became distracted. Was the job getting tough or boring?

2. Decide how you can work differently - When you find yourself in la-la land, take a hard look at why you are there. What can you do differently next time? What pain can you face right now? Like the Doors song, these are opportunities to break on through. Can’t you meet these tough tasks face on and deal with them? Putting them off is just procrastination. And as we know, procrastination is the antithesis to success.

In summary: Distractions have a psychological root in pain avoidance. Whether we are avoiding the pain of stress, information overload or boredom, distractions are our way of wiggling out from an uncomfortable situation. Put simply, engaging in a distraction is a way to avoid pain. It is a hidden factor that by becoming conscious of, you can gain tremendous leverage – for it is the people who can see this pain for what it is and then work through it will succeed. The ones who cannot face this reality will be left spinning in circles.

-Brad Isaac