A 3-Step Process to Cure Distraction and Stay Focused

I’ve been distracted lately! You know the feeling, right?

I am normally a highly disciplined and focused A-type individual. But I sometimes get distracted and, therefore, have to follow a process that I created to rein it all back in.

This morning, I felt really distracted thinking about the bright future of NGNG (and the fact that my mom is coming Friday for a visit — I can hardly wait!). My head was buzzing with a zillion ideas for giving my team more responsibility and work, for hiring more team members, for refinement and expansion….do you feel the frequency of that thinking? Phew!

Bottom line, my head was stuck in the future and far away from the present.

Forty-five minutes went by, and I’d become mindful that I was not in the present. I have to say, it was kinda scary not knowing where those last 45 minutes had gone. I had nothing to show for it!

So here’s the process I took myself through to get back to center:

  1. First, I had to snap out of it and become aware that I was off playing in the future – a long way from the present.
  2. Then, I asked myself, “What am I missing by living in the future?” (The answer: I missed out on the present and made no tangible progress on anything during those 45 minutes. Ouch.)
  3. Finally, I took out a notebook (like you, I have fifteen half-started notebooks everywhere…lol) and wrote a list of easy action items to achieve my goals. I even took a moment to include a brief list of my concerns.

This final action stopped my mind chatter because I then knew that I could get back to those thoughts later…. at a time when I didn’t have work and other responsibilities competing for my attention.

This act of “brain dumping” (I am a BIG believer in it!) is so effective because you capture your thoughts and free your mind from having to worry about things at the most inopportune times. You make your lists, know you have it all down and then go back to it when you’re ready to tackle the issue.

The truth is, you are a very smart and capable individual. You WILL figure out whatever is troubling you, and you’ll figure it out at the time that is most perfect for you.

It’s great to think about and plan for the future, but not at the expense of missing the present and making progress.

For today, I’m back on track – and I choose the present. What about you?

Like these tips? Reply back and let me know to “keep it comin’!”

xoxo
Amber Vilhauer

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2 thoughts on “A 3-Step Process to Cure Distraction and Stay Focused

  1. Heath Armstrong

    Yes! I think brain dumping is the daddy mack of clearing the head, but it can also be done through just simple mindfulness and meditation.

    If my mind is wandering or in the future.. I know that taking 5 minutes to let thoughts flow through my head w/ meditation.. then I pick up a blank piece of notebook paper and start brain dumping hardcore. I just write.. and that’s it. I don’t care what it says.. and I don’t care if it’s useful. I don’t even care if it fails the 2nd grade grammar test. What is important is that the task is completed. Because I’m doing it, I’m succeeding.

    When you apply this method to other habits, that is when magic happens. Beauty will stem from the stump as long as it’s consistently there!

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