4 ways to kick distractions

Distractions. Those wonderful things that tempt us to take our eyes off our goals and give in to the shiny objects and fun things around us. They come in so many different forms and with so many consequences, you might not even notice you’ve been distracted until Monday becomes Friday, and you wonder what you’ve accomplished all week. Because whatever it was, it’s not what was on your to do list, and it’s not moving you closer to your end goal.

A lot of creative soulpreneurs deal with distractions on a daily basis. I think (from my own experience, and not because I’m any sort of expert on this) that it’s because our creative minds work in different ways. We see ideas, we chase ideas, and in those moments of exploration, it becomes so easy to become distracted from the original intent of the day.

Three Types of Distractions

The distractions that tempt us on a daily basis are as individual as we are, but they can be categorized into three different types.

Type 1: External Distractions

These include environmental and digital distractions such as:

  • your cell phone,
  • browsing the web or social media websites,
  • your workspace environment.

Type 2: Internal Distractions

Internal distractions can be the worst of all because these are the thoughts that lead to self-sabotage.

I don’t know about you, but my little voice never shuts up and I would never get anything accomplished if I listened to everything it has to say over the course of a day.

Even writing this article, I’m hearing things like “who are you to be talking about kicking distractions to the curb? You’re always distracted and you never get anything done!”

Or, how about “Are you sure you want to put that up for sale? Do you really thing anyone is going to buy what you’re selling?”

I’m sure I’m not the only creative soulpreneur who struggles with thoughts like these.

Type 3: Personal Distractions

When you work by yourself day after day, it can be easy to become distracted. And no one but you really know what is keeping you from working at your highest level, or why.

This is one area where journaling can help. If you can keep track of your feelings and energy levels when you’re feeling “on” and when you’re feeling distracted, it helps you figure out what your triggers are.

But as with all things personal, it’s something that you have to figure out for yourself, and it’s all a part of your personal growth journey.

So, now that we know what the major types of distractions are, how do we kick them to the curb in order to get focused on our goals and dreams.

Here are four tips to help you kick distractions to the curb…

Tip #1: Stop the Self-Sabotage

Self-sabotage is the number one enemy of creativity. Negative self-talk can stop you in your tracks before you even have a chance to get started. In a lot of cases, it comes from a place of fear, and is a result of things like low self-confidence, lack of knowledge, and lack of experience.

I could write a book on my experiences with self-sabotage and we’ll talk more about this in future posts. For now, kick distractions related to self-sabotage and negative self-talk to the curb by experimenting more, gaining more knowledge about yourself and what you’re wanting to do, and silence that little voice.

You know you’re good at what you do. So don’t let that little negative voice of fear derail your dreams and goals.

Tip #2: Set Clear Boundaries and Limitations

Don’t be afraid to say no to things and people that try to distract you.

In order to achieve what you set you to do, there may be times when you have to put yourself first. Set very clear boundaries with the people around you. But also know your own limitations, and don’t pretend to be superwoman thinking you can do all the things all the time.

Tip #3: Be Mindful of Your Environment

Your environment can be a huge distraction if you let it. Create your workspace in a way that allows you to kick distractions out of the way when it’s time to get down to work.

For example, if you know you tend to like to chat with friends and clients, keep your messenger turned off, and keep Zoom meetings to a minimum.

Or, if you know that you need quiet space to do your best work, maybe planning to work at a coffee shop or in a co-working space is not the best idea for you.

Tip #4: Make good use of technology

There’s no point in being surrounded by all this technology, and not making good use of it. When you can, use it and other resources to automate the things that don’t you’re your complete focus so you’re free to concentrate on what you need to do.

Things like tools, cell phone apps, or browser extensions that allow to set time limits, keep track of your to-do list, and monitor your working time can be really helpful for this. My personal favorite is Momentum Dash, which uses a timer to keep you focused on your tasks for a specific period of time. It also allows to you set your focus task and keeps a running list of your to-do list for you as well.

Making good use of technology gives you back control over your working time, and allows you to kick distractions to the side so you can stay focused on the important stuff.

Final Thoughts

Distractions are something that we all have to deal with on a daily basis. But, knowing yourself, knowing what distracts you, and putting strategies in place to kick distractions to the curb will help you stay focused on your goals and get you closer to achieving that life of your dreams.

About the Author

Ruth is self-styled creative soulpreneur who loves that she gets to play with words and pictures for a living. She started her first email newsletter in 1997 and has never looked back. Between creating printables and courses, she publishes a daily newsletter, loves to golf and walk on the beach and is teaching herself how to do hand-lettering and doodle art.

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