Distractions is one thing that if you look around you will see that everyone, including myself seems to be falling for it. You hear your phone ring and you think to yourself that I’ll just check this harmless notification and then I’ll get back to my work. You check it and then you look at the time and 1 hour as passed. You opened up your phone to check your email and since you have your phone open, you decided it’s a good time to check twitter, snapchat, instagram, along with Facebook. Then you get sucked into this rabbit hole of scrolling.
Our brains love stimulation and pleasure and what gives us both of those? Our phones. Now I know what you’re thinking, we are only distracted because of phones and the technology we have nowadays. FALSE, distractions is something that isn’t new. Back in the day before cell phones and laptops, when you were bored in class what did you do? You doodled on your notebook, passed notes to your classmates or stared aimless out the window. Distractions is nothing new.
To explain why distractions is breaking every single one of us, we need to define the word Distraction.
To define what distraction is, we need to figure out what it’s not. What is the opposite of distraction? The opposite of distraction is traction. What does traction mean? Traction means to pull. To pull towards something. Distraction is the opposite of pulling towards something, so it means to pull away. Then you take the root word of traction and that is action. Action means doing something or making a move. So if traction is pulling you towards something, then distraction is pulling you away or for a lack of better words, making you stuck or motionless. Just like a car stuck in the snow, the tires get traction to move you. Distraction would be the opposite of traction and that is no traction, no movement.
Distractions are pulling you away from your goals and what you should be doing.
I went away for my first year of University and I was not equipped enough to know how to fight distractions. Someone always wants to go to the cafeteria, play pool, shoot basketball, and go out, and as a young college student I fell for these distraction every single time. We are pleasure seekers, and studying for hours and doing homework gives you no pleasure at all, so I chose the latter and that is to get the pleasures. At the end of the year I had a long talk with myself and I decided that the only defense against distraction at a college campus is to not live on campus. So I commuted and this improved my grades immensely.
Sometimes the only defense against distractions is leave and not be tempted by them.
“Nowadays it’s not the smartest or most talented person that wins, it’s the person who is the least distracted that wins.”
Not being distracted and staying focused is the # 1 skill of the century.
Why Do We Get Distracted In The First Place?
We get distracted in the first because we are bored. Being bored is the worst and we all can agree to this. Think about it, why do people plan their off days of work in advance? Because an off day means potential boredom and boredom is something we are all trying to escape all day long.
Being bored is only a desire for more, to invent more, search for more, and more feelings. Being bored is a trait we had back in the day, even in the ancient times as humans to go out and search for more. The days that I’m bored are the days that I get the most things done. I bet you can think of a time where you had a day off of work and none of friends can hangout with you, so you were in the house bored. So you ended up going to the gym, picked up a book from the store, changed your hairstyle, washed your car, went for a think walk, and painted your nails a new color. You did all these good things because you were bored. If you weren’t bored then you wouldn’t of done any of those things.
Shock Study By A Psychologist Named Timothy Wilson At The University Of Virginia
He recruited hundreds of participants, and placed each one in a separate room with nothing to do. This was called the free thinking time. Where the participants had nothing to do but to think for 15 minutes. After the first round, the conductors of the experiment did another 15 minutes but this time, they were given a button to push to shock themselves if they wanted to. Before the experiment the participants stated that they would pay money to avoid being shocked with electricity. It’s crazy because 67% of men and 25% of women chose to inflict the shock on themselves than to sit there quietly.
Conclusion Of The Shock Study:
We are so uncomfortable being bored doing nothing that we would shock ourselves just to feel something. We will seek any type of sensation just to avoid being bored.
Common Philosophies To Why People Are Distracted:
“I didn’t do my homework because I didn’t know how to do it.”
“I didn’t start my company because I don’t have the resources.”
“I didn’t finish my work because I didn’t know how to finish it.”
“I don’t have the skills to do that.”
“I can’t lose weight because I don’t know how to.”
THESE EXCUSES ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE DUE TO THE FACT THAT WE HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES AT OUR FINGER TIPS.
You don’t know how to do algebra, search the internet. You don’t have internet, walk to the library. You don’t know how to start a company, search the internet, there is endless information to tell you how to get your start up going. You don’t have the skills to cook or play the guitar, Youtube it, it’s free, you can learn the skills that way. We all know how to be healthy and lose weight, and just incase you don’t, search the internet. THERE IS NO EXCUSE.
We aren’t lacking the skills or resources, what we are lacking is the ability to avoid distractions and follow through.
The Importance Of Intent When It Comes To Distractions:
Back in the day, my dad would yell at my brothers and I to stop playing video games it’s brain melting. Then I go over to see him in the same position he’s been on the couch watching TV for hours. So what makes what he’s doing more important than what my brothers and I are doing? Were in front of TV, and my dad is in front of TV, no real difference. What makes one more important than the other? Neither does, as long as you are doing something with intent then it’s perfectly fine.
The issue is we aren’t doing things with intent. We are just mindlessly getting distracted and being unconsciously pulled away from what we should be doing.
So we have to back go to the psychology behind our actions and motives. Our motives is that neurologically we only do things to avoid discomfort.
For example: You go outside into cold weather without a coat, you feel cold, it’s uncomfortable, you put on a coat. You go back inside, it’s hot, you feel uncomfortable, you take off your coat. You are hungry, your stomach is barking, you feel uncomfortable, you eat. You are eating, you start to feel full and satiated, it’s uncomfortable, you stop eating. You are working out, you have been working out for over an hour, you feel tired, it’s uncomfortable, you stop working out. You feel tired in the middle of the day, it’s uncomfortable, you drink coffee.
Everything we do stems back to our internal trigger and that is to escape feeling discomfort. An external trigger would be something like your phone notification sound going off.
Here’s One Rule To Follow To Never Let Distractions Break You Again:
Eat Your Dinner Before Your Dessert.
This is the rule I have been following for years and it has been the key to getting things done and not getting distracted. What I mean by eat your dinner before your dessert is this: If you really want to play video games, watch your Netflix show, or smoke, then do it after you get your work done. Your dinner is your work and the things you have to do, and your dessert is things like scrolling through social media, smoking, video games, TV shows, and hanging out with your friends.
Social media should be looked at as a dessert too. I have my social media apps on my phone locked until 11am everyday, this is so I can do my work, before I get my pleasures. You need to learn Delayed Gratification.
Delaying your gratification will pay off in the long run. We live in a time where everything is instant. Even our gratifications are instant. It’s all instant, you post a picture on social media, you get a couple likes and you feel good. You order food to your house, you eat it, you feel good. You turn on your TV, get a couple good laughs or cries and you feel good. It’s all instant.
If one can learn to delay the gratification and eat their broccoli before you eat your candy, the pay off is immense. The only defense against distractions is to train your mind to do your work first, hit your goals first and then play your games. This is how your mind was designed to be. When you wanted to eat back in there old age, you had to hunt and gather your food(do work) in order to eat(reward). It was always work, then reward, not reward reward reward reward, then work. Something as simple as checking your phone is considered a reward to the brain, and most people check their phones as soon as they wake up. This programs your mind to choose reward before work.
Work Before Play.
I always hear a lot of high performers like Gary Vee say that you gotta work 18 hours a day and take no weekends off. After hearing someone tell you that, you aren’t gonna want to chase success, that sounds miserable. Work without reward is a miserable life. All I’m saying is grind all week, or even grind all day to start and when you feel like you did enough then at the end of the day, get your reward. After grinding all week, then you can go out to party one night, but the next morning you must get back to the grind. Don’t over do the rewards. Taste your reward and then go back to work. The pay off to this strategy is tremendous.
Eat Your Dinner Before Your Dessert (Do Your Work Before You Play)
After you did your work, then you can get distracted all you want.
THANKS FOR READING 🙂
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