What distractions are showing up in your life and business?
I’ve talked quite a bit recently about productivity. And productivity isn’t about doing more, it’s about working on the right things. You want to make sure that you’re working on the right things and making sure that you avoid things like distractions, as much as you possibly can, which can severely hinder your productivity and momentum.
As an entrepreneur, distractions ARE going to show up for you. And they might show up in different ways. It’s not always just about scrolling Instagram or bingeing Netflix. So that’s what we’re going to dive into today: what may be distracting you and how to fight it.
- Ep. 12 Overcome Procrastination & Increase Your Productivity
- The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
- DM me on Instagram
- How to recognize distractions and the different ways that distraction may be showing up for you.
- The six ways to avoid distractions, stay on task and maintain momentum in order to get your big goals achieved.
- The action step you can take right now to help you move forward and overcome distraction
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It’s January, the first month of 2022 and chances are you set New year’s Resolutions or goals for the year. Brilliant!!! But you may also be to the point in your goals journey for this year where your energy & motivation is starting to
What distractions are showing up in your life?
I’ve talked quite a bit recently about productivity. Heck, I am a productivity coach.
If you can increase your productivity, you’re going to see that momentum towards those big goals. That is probably something you already understand.
And true productivity isn’t about doing more, it is about working on the right things.
So you want to make sure you’re working on the right things and make sure that you avoid things like distractions as much as you possibly can, which can severely hinder your productivity.
So that is what we are diving into today.
As an entrepreneur, distractions are going to show up in different ways. Its not just about scrolling Instagram or binging Netflix.
- Maybe you’re listening to too many people.
When we sit down to make a decision or we try to validate ideas, or we try to make sure we are on the right path, we often start looking outside ourselves.
We don’t trust our own intuition.
We don’t trust our own gut.
We don’t trust our own decision making.
We don’t trust our ability to find “the answer”.
So we start to look outside of ourselves, through mentors, through peers, posting in Facebook groups. “What should I do in this situation?”
Or just gathering all the information. Procrasti-researching and procrasti-planning: those are distractions.
There’s a certain time and place for research and planning. But at a certain point, it becomes a distraction when you really need to be taking action rather than researching.
- Also, comparison is a distraction.
So often what happens whenever we start not trusting ourselves— not trusting our own intuition, not trusting our own gut, not trusting our own decision-making, not trusting our ability to find the answer— we start to see other people that are doing it and saying either: “they’re better than me because they’re doing it and I’m not.” and then we start to spiral downwards
or we start to say, “well, I’m further along than this group of people.”
So you just sit by and rest on your laurels because you’re “ahead of the game”.
Neither one of those things is really helpful.
- Another distraction is procrastinating aka when you’re putting stuff off. That can show up as researching, lazing around watching Netflix. It could show up in a thousand different ways. And if you are guilty of this, check out Ep 012 where i go a bit deeper into procrastination, what its costing you, and how to side-step it.
- Another distraction is saying yes too much. You’re always saying yes to new opportunities without follow through, right? Yup, that’s a distraction.
You may have heard that in order to level up and become super successful, you have to learn how to say no really well.
So saying yes too much is also a way that distractions show up in your life and in your business.
- Another distraction is being reactive. I did a email inbox management training last fall, and the main thing that I noticed from talking to several entrepreneurs was that they feel like they’re always responding to emails and trying to do the things that their clients need them to do. That they are always answering questions rather than being proactive and saying, “I get to control when I open my email.”
There’s psychological reasons for that.
It feels better to solve a problem quickly and have a quick win.
And usually the things on our email are smaller projects than the big projects that we have planned to meet our big goals.
We get those little hits of dopamine because it feels good to accomplish something, even the little things.
As an entrepreneur, you’re more susceptible to distractions. Those distractions can have bigger consequences for you, too. There are a few reasons for that.
First of all, nobody is telling you what to do or holding you accountable. You are your own boss. You’re running the show. And if you’ve previously been in a situation where other people are running the show and other people are signing your paychecks or being the ones that you have to be accountable to, it’s really hard to switch from that to trusting yourself to do what you need to do.
It’s uncomfortable, it’s change.
Another reason is your environment.
Right now and over the past year, there’ve been so many moms, so many entrepreneurs that can’t go work at a place that they would like to go work. Whether it be a coffee shop or the office, they can’t go to a specific place to be alone or to get their best work done. I understand that and I’m not making excuses for it.
But you are in charge. You are in control of your environment. Maybe that means putting on headphones and training your kids and your husband when you’ve got these headphones on, it means “don’t bother me.”
Maybe it means making sure that you don’t have easy access to your phone. If you know that whenever you have easy access to your phone, your habit is to pick it up and start scrolling it, you put it outta reach.
Another reason is burnout. I attract a lot of high achievers. You want to get it done. You want to mark things off your to-do list. You want to achieve more things. And in doing that, we devalue rest, relaxation, and ALL THE THINGS we actually need to do in order to recharge. We only focus on direct action and that leads to burnout because it’s not sustainable. And this whole hustle-more culture of the online business industry isn’t helping things.
Another reason is poor energy management. Instead of focusing on our exercise, what we’re putting in our body and our water intake, we focus on the fire directly in front of us that we have to put out. So you end up working 16 hour work days, and then going directly into mom mode and never getting enough sleep or intentionally moving your body. You tell yourself you don’t have time for it.
It takes energy to maintain focus.
If you don’t take care of all of that, you’re going to be more susceptible to things pulling away your focus.
The final reason you may be more susceptible to distractions is you are trying to do too many things. We can see what everybody’s doing on social media. We can see how her launch is going and the strategies that she’s using, or the fact that she just launched a tiny offer or the fact that she’s now making her course evergreen.
And we’re like, “Ooh, I’m not in a place that feels good right now. So I’m going to reach for something more. I put something else on my plate.”
Now, these are reasons you are more susceptible, not insurmountable obstacles.
It doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overcome these things. Actually understanding where these things come from and why they show up is the first step in overcoming them.
But I am not here to leave you hanging.
Here are six things that you can do to avoid distractions, stay on task, and maintain momentum to get your big goals achieved.
Number 1: USE TIMERS.
Timers are one of those things that seems so simple, but we don’t utilize them. One of the things that has been consistent across one-on-one chats with online entrepreneurs is that they say they don’t know how long things take.
It can be difficult to estimate how long something’s gonna take, especially if you’re not optimizing your energy or following your rhythms. But that language of not knowing how long something is going to take signals that you are relinquishing control of things.
Rather than giving yourself unlimited time, you get to set your own deadlines. You get to say, “I’m giving myself 30 minutes to get this done.” And I promise you, you’ll be able to focus so much more in that 30 minutes than if you’d given yourself all day to do something.
You get it done faster plus you can do more things that you actually care about doing.
Number 2: TAKE A BREAK.
You need to be able to take a day off every once in a while. You’re not doing anybody any good by glorifying busy. If you never give yourself a break, you’re not getting to your goals faster and easier.
Rest and relaxation are part of the equation to productivity. It’s not just direct action.
Focused action + energy management + rest & relaxation = optimum productivity.
Because if you take a break, if you give yourself that space to just be and let your brain kind of chill and relax, then you are able to avoid burnout.
You’re then able to have more creative ideas because I guarantee you, your most creative ideas, probably don’t all come while you’re working. Mine come when I’m in the shower, when I’m driving, or when I’m listening to audio books. None of those things are directly related to my big goals, but my best ideas come when I’m not consciously trying to force it.
Number 3: DO NOT DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO, OR THE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE.
If you look at how distractions show up— binge watching Netflix, scrolling Instagram, solving quick problems for people— you can gather some really good information.
When you are more prone to distractions, it’s often because you’re not getting something in your day-to-day.
You are depriving yourself of the fun things in life. So whenever things start to get uncomfortable, you reach for something fun and easy something to give you that dopamine hit.
If you already have those things in your life, if you’ve got things scheduled every single day that you genuinely love doing that already give your those dopamine hits, then the chances of you letting distractions derail you are a lot less.
You’re not using those things as excuses, they are just part of your daily life.
Number 4: REMIND YOURSELF WHY YOU ARE DOING THE THINGS THAT YOU’RE DOING.
If you’re setting aligned goals and you are breaking those goals down into the mini goals, the milestones, the strategies, and the habits that you need, remind yourself while you why you’re doing these things. Remind yourself why this aligned goal matters and what your higher self would be doing at that particular moment.
Say you’re sitting there, trying to focus. It’s getting really hard to focus it, and you find yourself starting to reach for your phone.
Whenever you start reaching for that phone, ask yourself, “what am I getting ready to do to distract myself? And is this what my best self would do?”
Chances are just asking yourself that question will interrupt that habit long enough for you to get back on track.
Number 5: FOCUS ON ONE THING.
Gary Keller is well-known for his idea of The One Thing— the one thing that’s going to get you closer to your goals while making everything else on your to-do list to either easier or completely unnecessary.
So rather than trying to focus on writing your book and optimizing your Instagram and growing to a 10,000 followers and making Pinterest work for driving traffic to your website, and rewriting your entire course and making it evergreen and learning how to do lives, laser-focus on one thing.
Number 6: MUTE/UNFOLLOW.
We’re living in the age of info overwhelm.
There are millions, millions of online coaches, millions of online consultants, millions of entrepreneurs that are all telling you different things.
But the genius part about social media, you don’t have to listen to any of them.
You have control over what you consume.
So if there are people you are following or friends with that aren’t serving you but instead are distracting you, mute them or unfollow them.
You are not in control of what everybody else says and does, but you are in control of the things that you put up, with the things that you consume, and the things that you actually do.
We often see distractions as something passive that we have no control over, which is not really true.
Yes, things are gonna come at us. They are going to pop up, but you have control over whether or not you pick up your phone and start scrolling Instagram.
You have control over whether or not you keep your inbox open and check it every five minutes.
You have control over aspects that you are giving away your power on. Stop giving away your power.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: Identify your favorite distraction. Why do you choose that distraction, why is that one such a draw? Now, create a plan for how to avoid that specific distraction when you truly need to get stuff done.