How to Overcome the Distractions of the Digital Age to Achieve Your Goals

Sleep more… and get your job done faster? What one or two simple things can you change today to get more done?

All this and more in today’s article.

We’re in a fairly new world here. Never before have we had so much distraction in our everyday lives. So much opportunity, conversation, information all at once.

What ONE CHANGE did I make to immediately increase my peace, productivity and satisfaction?

I used to be really good at time management until I published my book and started my blog. Suddenly I launched myself  into a new wonderland of inspiring people (yes, you guys!) and all that fabulous information coming at me.

I wanted to interact with everyone and read and watch everything NOW.

All at the same time preferably.

Do you get that dissatisfied underachieving feeling? Where you can’t really pinpoint completing any one thing that will give you a big leap forward.

You feel the pressure to achieve those vital goals – you badly want to – but you’re too distracted.

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”  Henry David Thoreau

Too Distracted to Know You’re Distracted?

The buzz was keeping me too distracted to even realize I was distracted. No wonder. Have you found that? Recently I woke up and decided it was time (ha ha) to take control.

Others Benefit When I Get My Job Done

If I’m spinning my wheels I am not helping me and I am not helping you. This will be the same issue for you – in many ways.

My passion is to liberate as many people as I can to live life on their own terms – so they can take themselves into an exciting life, an extra-ordinary life. A life they love, where they can’t wait to start the day.

I do that by being proactive and focused, not reactive.

It’s Easy – Just Decide to Do it

As I say in my book, once you decide to do something you don’t have to know how you’ll do it, just decide you will do it – have the intention.

You will find yourself moving into the answers. For me nowadays my answers arrive at lightening speed, as in this case. It’s a great way to live.

Time management is a convoluted topic, and so individual. Today, I am giving you some clues to find your own answers. You can solve this dilemma.

My Answer #1

First Tim Ferris’ book The 4-Hour Work Week was being discussed in one of my circles – of course I’d heard of it but my reading list was already loooong. (always is). I decided to read it. Glad I did. If you haven’t already, read it.

Lots of interesting truly workable ideas – I especially enjoyed the time management ones.

My Answer #2

Then a few weeks ago I discovered this MAGIC video featuring Tony Schwartz titled The Myths of the Overworked Creative, but I only watched it this week.

It would seem many people believe they get more done with less sleep. Wrongo.

It’s an inspiring video that sets you straight about how to get your job done and find peace at the same time.

“To do two things at once is to do neither. ”  Publilius Syrus

My Answer #3

Gay Hendricks’ book The Big Leap is mainly about removing your obstacles to ultimate success – to overcome the hidden saboteur that most people have. The saboteur often appears when we are on the precipice of major success.

Reason for the mention today? He also has a chapter on “Living in Einstein Time – creating time for the full expression of your genius“. He gives you a mindset to live by. On all fronts a great book.

My Breakthrough – Emails

Tim Ferris goes on and on about emails so much I took action.

One week ago I stopped checking my emails in the morning. I know, I’m rather proud of that. And nothing bad happened. I now only check emails at about 5pm. Late huh? I work with people all over the world so the time of day I check my mail does not really matter – it probably doesn’t matter anyway.

The important thing for all of us is to COMPLETE AT LEAST ONE IMPORTANT TASK (even two? : -) before checking email. Tim Ferris suggests getting yourself to check email only once a week. I’m not there, I don’t want to be there – but always great to have ideas for the future.

So, my email stays off completely all day – out of sight – so even when I am tabbing around on my browser I avoid accidentally seeing a message.

Yeah, that used to be enough to shove me in another direction for hours. Incredible. It was ages before I got back to my primary task. No good. That can no longer happen. I’ve taken control of the situation. Watch that Magic Video to learn more about why to avoid looking at emails.

My sense of liberation has been amazing, never mind my levels of satisfaction for the day.

“You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”  Charles Bruxton

Withdrawals from the Drug

The temptation to check my mail is there. We’re curious and we’re social and we love to interact. But that’s an addiction like a drug (as Tony Schwartz says). There will be withdrawals but be tough – resist temptation. You will be thrilled you did.

This includes keeping your cell phone off. I know if you have children this can be a challenge – one idea is to have a private number for family calls.

Then read my article 10 Quick Ways to Manage Your Time and Achieve More. I especially love #4 – a quick task to be done before leaving your workstation for the night. It helps you hit the ground running and achieve your goals the next day.

If Not Emails… Then What?

If it’s not emails, perhaps it’s something else that is creating distraction for you, deal with it. Emails aren’t the only way I get distracted but it was a huge reason.

Make it your intention to discover what shoves you suddenly in an involuntary new direction. What takes you from your goal every day? Find a way to control it. Remember, once you decide to do… it the answer will come.

Distraction = Trance = Not Thinking For Ourselves

Another downside of distraction is it keeps us from thinking for ourselves. We’re too busy, we follow the herd – never an inspiring path to greatness. Visit some of the sites in my Blogroll (bottom right) especially the section “Think For Yourself” and also read:

Do You Think For Yourself? Here’s How to Start and

Why it’s a Trap For You to Tow the Line.

So Remember…

There is always an answer. How many times have I said that. But there is. We just have to be aware enough to know that and go after it.

It’s time to live life on your own terms:

Get your FREE download of the first 3 chapters (actually 4) from my award-winning book “How to Get Anything You Want – Just Like That!”  when you subscribe. The book is going to stretch your mind and empower you to trust yourself. It will show you, regardless of your situation in life, why all possibilities are available to you. Why they are available to everyone. Order your copy from Amazon.com (Kindle too) or from this site if you live in Australia.

How do you avoid distraction? Love to hear your thoughts!

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4 thoughts on “How to Overcome the Distractions of the Digital Age to Achieve Your Goals

  1. Love this article, Janet. Simple, straightforward, and fun.

    It is SOOO easy to get distracted by technology. Technology is an utility, like a sewage system. So, why do we wallow around on it all the time? It’s supposed to make our lives easier, not take over our lives for goodness sakes!

    A very timely message. I just tweeted it

    Thank you for sharing your lessons with the world,

    Eric

    1. Yeah, and at one point we probably felt alone with this issue. Am still getting used to only checking emails at the end of the day, but it is making a massive difference to my output. It really works – for me! Glad you enjoyed the read, thank you so much for all your support in all ways – and also for the retweet.

      See Eric’s timely guest post by Nir Eyal on this very topic: http://healthdemystified.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/how-to-stop-cheating-on-your-partner-and-break-other-bad-habits-guest-post-by-nir-eyal-www-nirandfar-com/

  2. Another great read Janet! I would add cell phones on there too. Between apps to check facebook, twitter, email, text messages and wordpress ;-), they can be a big distraction. Cell phones have a lot of people plugged in. I turn off my phone at work and at night when I want to focus on other things.

    1. Hi Mike,
      I agree with your list, prioritizing is a challenge when every one of those also helps us in some way – and it’s also great to connect with like-minds. And yes for me too the only way to manage my distraction is to turn whatever it is OFF!
      Am still getting good results just from turning off my email : -)

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