Friday, January 18, 2013

Ambition killers - 5 goal destroying distractions to avoid at all costs

How many of you wake up rip, roaring and ready to take on the world?  You spring out of bed, rush through your morning ablutions and feel ready to get at er... and then WHAM..

Your first call of the day comes in...

You look at your emails and they're like bunnies multiplying on a spring day...

Your phone is blowing up with text messages...

Your kids, wife, Mom, Dad or coworkers are excited to see you and to be in your greatness, trouble is they WANT you... NOW.

Do you see a pattern or trend occurring here?  Of course you do because at times you're the one living it.

Here are 5 Goal Destroying Distractions that are sure to sap away at your ambition.  How many corrupt you each day?

1) The Internet -  It's the biggest time waster ever invented.  It grabs you by the eyeballs and sucks you in.  It can take you to places you never imagined as well as destroy any hope of meeting a deadline.  It's heroin for the non-drug user.
     - Helpful Tip - Turn it off.  If you absolutely don't need it to accomplish your current task then shut the darn thing off.

2) Clutter - Taking a page from comedian Jeff Foxworthy - If your Inbox is flowing into your Outbox - you might be a Clutterneck.  If your office looks like it's ready for the next episode of "Hoarders" - you might be a Clutterneck.  If your desk looks more like a "Office Depot" 50% off sale - then you might be a Clutterneck.
     - Helpful Tip - Clean yourself the heck up.  Remove everything and find a clean, tidy place for it.  Stick to one project at a time on your workspace.  Too many "shiny bits" in front of you or in your line of sight are sure to distract.

3) Noise - It's everywhere.  The "Chatty Cathy" in the cubical next to you or the constant sound of the Barista brewing the next 1/2 cafe Moccachino.  Noise is one of the worst distractions out there.
     - Helpful Tip - Choose music to play in your headphones or over your home system that is without lyrics. The lyrics make you want to join in and sing along and that can kill your train of thought.  As my wife loves to do you can also just put your headphones in without anything playing in them.  It makes you look like you are listening to something and appear less likely to want to join in any distracting conversations or interactions

4) Loved Ones - Yup...  Those amazing people who make it all worthwhile.  Your wife, kids, friends and even co-workers - they're deadly Ninjas who come in and toss throwing stars into your productivity.  You don't want to interact with them but they are so convincing and stealthy that you can't resist.
     - Helpful Tip - Set boundaries.  You can't shut yourself into a room for 8 hours at a time and expect to be productive.  Most people are only good on any project for a maximum of 2 hours at a time anyways.  Set a boundary and let them know that you are not to be interrupted for the next 2 hours.  Meet that goal and then go get some love, let them refresh you and pump you up for another 2 hour block to come. 

5) Cell Phone - Possibly the biggest baddest wolf of them all.  It beeps, it rings, it sings and it vibrates, all the while taking your attention off what you really need to be doing.  Do you really need to respond instantly to every one's whim and request?  Turn it off and be done with it while you are in that focus time.
     - Helpful Tip - If you have voicemail let people know that you rarely check it and respond much quicker to a text message so please send one rather than a voicemail.  If you can't quite get the hang of turning your phone off completely then make sure that your all important "emergency contact" (your wife or husband etc) has a unique ring tone.  Make it stand out so you know that out of all the calls to take, this one is a must.

As always, I welcome any comments and thoughts. Share some thoughts on your best tips for beating the distractions in your life.  If you are finding "The 365" interesting say hi on Twitter @the365effect and share this blog with others.

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