Chances are if you’re feeling like you’re losing time (but don’t know where it’s going), or you seem to spend hours on a task (but you don’t feel like you’ve done anything and can’t really name where the time went), then it’s time to examine your life for distractions!
Distractions aren’t necessarily something we invite into our lives. I mean no one says “hey, over here! I want to lose time every time I turn around, run the risk of getting bad grades, have poor work ethics and never taste the sweetness of success!” right? Yet it’s inevitable that this irritating epidemic will seep its way into our lives and we will not recognize it or find the cure soon enough.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s never too late to get rid of distractions, but the sooner the better!
Let’s look at what distractions are. A distraction is anything that keeps you from giving your full attention to what’s more important. Honestly, anything that is listed as a distraction is not important. Not to say that they will never be important, but at that moment they are not important. The thing that they’re keeping your attention from focusing on completely is important. Let me explain:
What are some common distractions?
Everybody has those things that are especially tempting distractions, but there are also common distractions that everyone faces.
It is not always that your actual friends that are distractions. Instead, it’s that, friendship is another kind of relationship and with any real relationship, you have to invest time and energy into it. Which isn’t wrong– until you are trying to do friendship and homework…
Heh, I’m not going to say that if you have a boyfriend under the age of eighteen that it isn’t a bad thing, but every parent has their own set of rules so that choice is up to them. However, significant others are still a distraction no matter what age you are!
Like we said with friendship, it is a relationship that takes time, but we often forget to leave it in its place. Therefore we bring it in to other areas of our lives that it does not belong in– Like the classroom.
Our phones are not the only thing (because most technology fits into this paragraph). Anything that occupies our mind and steals our time is a distraction! It just so happens that all of that is wrapped up in our tiny bundles of joy and heartache that fits into our back pocket. We must be careful to not mistake the things that are unimportant for urgent because our phone says so (obvious by its need to alert us).
Sometimes- or a lot of times what is happening around us boggles down our mind causing us to be unfocused and distracted. What is happening in your life can and may be pretty serious (but when there is a chance to have a momentary reprieve and a place to catch your breath from all that’s going on do not be too distracted to accept the gift.)
Yes, what you are thinking is likely to distract you. Ever just zoned out? Absolutely and you were distracted. We do it all the time and never think about it but you are distracting yourself when you allow your thoughts to carry you away!
What Do Distractions Hinder?
“Starve your distractions, feed your focus.” Unknown
Learning- You cannot split your attention equally at the same time. You will pay more attention to one of those things and totally drown out the other(s). And you and I both know, it’s a lot easier to tune the teacher out so that class will pass by faster and focus on the fun thing (whatever that may be). But I’m here to be a reality check (sorry– just kidding), class will pass by really fast if you stay distracted, but so will you life and the opportunity to learn this information, obtain that dream career and these precious moments where it’s not costing you an arm and leg to learn. Nor are you having to try to adult and learn. Right now, you are young and free so take advantage of that!
Productivity- We cannot be productive and distracted, because procrastination and distraction go hand and hand (its that other dreaded but so dear p-word that we all seem to adore though it does absolutely nothing for us…). In order to be productive, we must eliminate those things that distract us so that we can pay attention to those opportunities that will pass us by in a heartbeat. Family time, learning, this age, being this young…
Can distractions be good things?
“You can always find a distraction if you are looking for one…” Tom Kite
In short– no. Here’s why: the reason we call them distractions is because we’re using precious, fleeting borrowed time to focus on them. So, if you have to consider it a distraction than it isn’t good for you.
Let’s be real for a moment, no one looks for distractions when they are happy with what’s going on around them right? Therefore if you’re willing to invite a distraction you must be running from facing something (even if it’s simply chores), right? The best and most fool proof way to thrive in life is to face your problems and rise, and thus the verdict stands– distractions cannot be good things.
How Can We Avoid Distractions?
“If you commit to nothing, you’re distracted by everything.” Unknown
Avoiding distractions is not easy, simply because anything could distract us. With that being said, instead of saying “avoid xyz and tada!” I’ll go further to say, be cautious. Look around you, be aware, there’s never a time that zoning out is a benefit to you, honestly.
And determine what is distracting for you. Is it relationships? Things? Animals? Your phone? Not all directions happen all the time or distract at the exact same time. You may have a problem with being distracted but what’s distracting you is never the same thing…
The key is asking yourself: is it important, right now? What should I be doing? What am I trying to avoid by being distracted?
Things to do:
- Set Goals
- Make Priorities
- Settle for nothing less than your best
- Focus on where you’re going
- Enjoy the right now, but when it’s gone, don’t hold on to it
What’s one of your biggest distractions? How do you keep from getting distracted? What are some of your goals?