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How To Avoid Distractions, Focus More And Achieve More In Life

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Do you know, what is #1 things that prevent you from achieving your goals?

In today´s world, it´s definitely distractions.

Every day, you face so many distractions, no wonder your work is not productive at all. No wonder your dreamed lifestyle is far, far away.

The key to achieving any goal in life is – focus.

When you want to start a business, you need to focus on it. When you want to become a great parent, you need to spend time with your kids. When you want to be in better shape, you need to exercise, eat, sleep – in other words, you need to focus on it.

If you do not know how to avoid or overcome distractions, you can not properly focus, which leads you to mediocre (or even bad) results.

In this article, you´re going to find out, how to become indistractable.

What Makes You Distracted?

Everything you do (or not do) has a trigger. Something, that starts certain behavior.

If you want to move in a car, you need to fire up the engine.

If you want to get rid of distractions, you need to understand the trigger first.

There are lots of triggers that cause you to take action. All of them, belong to one of these 2 groups:

  • Internal trigger,
  • External trigger.

The Only Feeling That Force You To Distract

According to Sigmund Freud, everything you do, you do for one of the following reasons:

You want to either get rid of pain or gain pleasure.

If you take a moment and think about anything you did this week, month or a year, you did it because you wanted to gain pleasure or get rid of the pain.

Latest research shows, that even emotions that cause you to act, have only one purpose – getting aways from discomfort.

  • If you feel cold, you put your coat.
  • If you feel lonely, you check facebook.
  • If you feel uncertain, you google.

Everything you do, you do for avoiding discomfort. Even when you stop working and get distracted.

In the majority of cases, it´s because, in a moment, it seems better to do something else, instead of your work.

In the next part of this article, I am going to show you 4 ways, how to become indistractable.

1 – How To Handle Internal Triggers

You already know, every distraction starts either by internal, or external trigger.

Almost every major distraction comes from within. If you are distracted externally, and you have not also an internal urge to distract from your work, you can handle it.

But, when you have an internal trigger, that whispers you to procrastinate and not take action, your productivity is in big trouble.

Here´s what to do:

Every time, you feel an urge to distraction, start paying attention.

Be aware of what you feel, what you currently do, what is the action you are distracted from.

It´s helpful to also write it down and then, postpone it for 10 minutes. Overcome this urge to be distracted for 10 more minutes. (It´s not so hard when you tell yourself, after 10 minutes of work you´re done.)

When, 10 minutes pass, and you will still need a break, be distracted.

But, what usually happens is that when people overcome this first urge for distractions and postpone it for 10 minutes, they won´t go back to distractions.

They realize they don´t even need to be distracted. If they can postpone it and overcome the first urge to a way out of work, they don´t need to do it at all.

Being aware is the first step of changing any behavior.

For a more detailed explanation, read these 2 articles of mine:

2 – Plan Your Day

You can´t say you are distracted when you don´t know, what you are distracted from. – Nir Eyal

If you have no idea what you were supposed to do yesterday from 2 to 3 p.m., you can´t say you were distracted. You had nothing else to do.

Planning and scheduling your day, is enormously helpful for increasing your productivity, decrease procrastination and also, keeping you away from distractions.

If you want to stop being so distracted, start planning your day.

Plan the time of your meetings, time of grocery shopping, plan of reading books, time for family. Try to be as specific as you can.

Also, plan your time for distractions. Distractions like Facebook, Youtube, email, etc.

When you plan the exact time for those, you will not struggle so much with being distracted by them all the time, while you work on something else.

So, plan your day and be as specific as you can be.

3 – How To Handle External Triggers

The best thing to handle external triggers is to simply let people know they can´t distract you.

If I ask you, what is the third biggest reason why people die in the U.S. I am 100% sure you couldn´t guess it.

It´s not car accidents. It´s not even murders. It´s the wrong medication.

More than 200 000 people a year die because either doctor or nurses give them a bad prescription.

The reason why it happens is following:

They get distracted while they were preparing medication.

Do you know how some nurses started to handle this problem?

They start to wear vests. Ordinary orange vests that say to everyone else – Don´t distract me, I am preparing medication!

Just by doing this, in this hospital drops deads caused by wrong medication by 20 %.

No, it doesn´t mean you have to wear an orange vest when you work on a project in your office.

But, you need to show others, they are not supposed to distract you right now.

A few examples:

  • put a sign,
  • give yourself headphones,
  • close your door,
  • turn off your notifications,
  • mute your telephone,
  • shut down the internet.

Do, anything, that helps you to not be distracted while you are in “deep work” mode.

4 – Use Preconditions

When you already fulfill steps 1-3, then is the right time for you to make the last step that helps you to become indistractable.

Use preconditions. More precisely, one of the 3 types of preconditions.

Action precondition:

It´s an action you do that helps you to avoid distraction.

For example, Nir Eyal, author of indistractable, used an example of his bad habit of going to bed too late, because he was distracted by social media.

He makes a precondition, of turning out the internet at 10 p.m. Every day, his internet shuts off at 10 p.m.

Of course, he can turn it on again, but he doesn´t. It´s the trigger that shows him – You should stop being distracted and go to sleep.

Another great example is something I already mentioned – turning off notifications on your phone, so you won´t be distracted every time, you receive an email, message or your favorite Youtuber release a new video.

Money Precondition:

This precondition works as a simple bet, either with yourself or with someone else.

Again, Nir Eyal, in his book presents a great example.

He says, every morning he wakes up and he is supposed to work out. But, you know these excuses… I am so tired, I don´t feel well, It´s better for me to go tomorrow, etc.

He preconditioned himself, by taking 100 bucks and said… When I will give in to my laziness and excuses, I am gonna burn this 100 bucks.

So, this way I either burn some calories or money.

He said, it´s a few years after he made this precondition, and this 100 bill is still there.

It works. Use it in your advantage. Bet with yourself or with someone else.

Identity Precondition:

Last and maybe the biggest precondition is identity precondition.

The biggest power that forces us to behave in a certain way is our need to be consistent with our identity.

So, when your identity is a sportsman, you won´t stay up all night drinking alcohol and eating bad. You can, but at the end of the day, you won´t feel fulfilled and truly happy.

Changing identity is a huge step to build habits, stop procrastination and also, becoming indistractable.

Here´s what I recommend:

Change your identity, by using techniques for overcoming distractions you discovered in this article, and then, just share it with someone else.

Tell people, what you do, why you do it, what´s the outcome, why is it necessary for you and for them to become indistractable.

What probably happens, is that people are going to look at you with more respect. They seek you when they need help. You become an authority for them.

With this new identity of yours, it´s gonna be so hard to let distractions win over you again.

And the most important – you are going to act consistently with your new indistractable identity. It´s become natural to you, which means… No more distractions.

Conclusion:

Among the top things that cause us to fail in pursuing our dreams belongs our weakness for distractions.

In nowadays world, it´s a huge problem. Your work is not productive, your time with family and friends is not as fulfilled as it used to be in the past.

All because you are distracted all the time.

In this article, you found 4 ways how to become indistractable, so your work, productivity, and life is going to become easier and more successful.

If you like this article, please share it with your friends and spread the message about it.

If you want to find out more about this topic, I highly recommend you to read a book – Indistractable by Nir Eyal – which was the base for this whole article.


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My name is Patrik. I live in Slovakia and I am owner of dayprov.com. Dayprov is about Everyday improvements in our lives. You will find here tips about success, motivation, personal development and anything you want. Your recommendations for new interesting blog posts you would like to read about send to patrik@dayprov.com.
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