The Nature of ‘Distractions’

When we take on new challenges, strive for new goals, and even when we are tackling the everyday tasks at our day jobs, we sometimes become distracted.

Distractions are only temporary disruptions in the production process; they don’t have to be roadblocks that halt our forward momentum. A distraction does have the potential to hurt our workflow, but we have the power to ensure it’s only temporary.

Distractions can have many faces and each face may have its own personality, which makes them difficult to move past. We can have an advantage when overcoming our distractions though, we just need to have an understanding of what our main distractions are, and where they come from.

The first step in understanding the nature of distractions is to break them down in 2 main categories. The first of which will be any ‘external distractions,’ the 2nd category will be any type of ‘internal distractions.’

An internal distraction would be anything that comes from within ourselves. The root can be from a wide range of subjects, but there is a common factor between all internal distractions. No matter the origin of internal distractions, the disruptions are felt from within ourselves, and they are under our control.

A disruption from within could be anything from not getting enough sleep, hunger, or a fight you had last night with your spouse. This is not an entire list of internal distractions, and every person may have a list of their own, but this is a good place to start having an understanding what our internal distractions are.

The cause of these distractions may be clear, and the solution may be quite easy. Sometimes though, the cause is from deeper within. If the solutions to these issues are not on the surface, and are not rectified easily, we need to look deeper into ourselves.

It’s easy for us to push these types of distractions down, and ignore them. This may be a good temporary fix, but eventually, that patch is going to leak, and you’re going to be pushed 10 steps backward.

It’s best to acknowledge a distraction as soon as it’s noticed. The quicker we fix it, the quicker we get back to work. The better chance at success we have.

You have the power to correct these disruptions as quickly, slowly, and as efficiently as you’d like. How well you do so is up to you, your willpower, and the amount of dedication you have toward your goals.

External distractions are a bit of a different beast. Mostly, they are not in our control, and we don’t really have any say so in preventing them from happening. These disruptions come from our environments, and the people surrounding us.

A perfect case of an external distraction takes place very often, and it takes place at our jobs.

You have your daily tasks and the important tasks to complete for the day; you know what your day will consist of. You have a game plan, schedule, and a checklist. Then, your boss comes and throws 3 more tasks at you. Well, now you have a full days work, plus all this extra stuff.

This is a prime example of an external distraction. It happens more often than we wish, but it does happen, and we have to know how to overcome it when it does.

First things first, don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. It’s easy to feel buried and suffocated by what is expected of us, but we can handle it.

You have to keep telling yourself. “I can handle this!”

Businessman climbing over wall

Don’t look at the entire workload as one large task because that will overwhelm you. Quickly examine what has to be done, and complete each task one by one. Also, it would be beneficial to complete whatever extra tasks you are given, as you are given them. Don’t tell yourself you’re busy, and you’ll do it after your done with the current task. Stop what you’re doing, and finish the new task first. Then you can get right back to work.

When we put tasks on the back burner, we often never get to them because we either forget about them, or we don’t have enough time. For this reason, any unexpected work should be completed as soon as you know about it.

More distractions from our external world may be limitations put on us due to funding issues, lack of equipment, or even a lack of personnel. The cause of these distractions are usually completely out of our control, but correcting it is not always out of our control.

If our office is out of staples, or someone broke the only hammer on your team, what are you going to do? Just sit around and wait for someone to figure it out? Maybe you’ll stand by only to complain that you can’t get your work done. If you choose to do anything but help fix the issue, you are causing more issues.

Go get some staples, buy 3 more hammers, take some initiative. The sooner the problem is corrected, the sooner you get back to work.

On top of continuing to work, and moving forward, if you show the motivation to improve workflow, you are eventually going to be rewarded for your efforts.

Nothing bad is going to come from being the motivated worker.

Distractions are always going to present themselves to us in many different ways. They will stand in our way and try to stop us, but we have the power to overcome them. As long as we remember to stay motivated, and think clearly about the problem, we can come up with a clear solution.

Whether a disruption is felt from within, or it affects us from the outside world, there is a way to move forward. Constant improvement will minimize our distractions, and it will alleviate the level of our distractions.

Stay motivated. Overcome, don’t become overwhelmed.

Most of all. Stay in GoodCompany



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