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Some days it doesn’t take much to distract us, does it? I think that I’m like most people when I say that I have days when being present is easy and days when it’s not – we’re all human and there is a lot at play in our minds and bodies that impact our emotions on any given day.
But, even with that said, there are a few things that we can do to remove distractions and at least give ourselves the chance of being present in our days – not only for ourselves but for those we love too.
So, where can you get started?...
Spend a few days looking out the things that trip you up the most; are you being controlled by those notification noises on your phone? Do you have colleagues that just love to make small talk and distract you from your day? Maybe friends think that you’re always free - and call by - just because you work from home?
At some point or another I think that I could have said say yes to most of those, and the list could go on but once you’ve discovered at least three here’s how to go about tackling them…
Yes, it’s sometimes a challenge to change other people’s behaviour. I’m a pretty straight talking person but I appreciate that it’s not everyone’s style and so take a gentler approach if that is more comfortable. The aim is simply to help others understand what you need; whether that’s an uninterrupted morning or taking no calls between certain hours of the day. People will understand (well, most of them will)!
So you’re not a teenager but let’s be honest our beloved phones are a terrible distraction aren’t they? I dread to think how many times a day that we check them and each time there’s a potential for us to be completely lead astray. Before you know it, that ‘quick check’ of your messages and comments has taken half an hour and you’ve forgotten what you were meant to be doing! Put it on silent or in a drawer for a while and the compulsion to keep checking it gets less, I promise.
When a distraction does come along that threatens your ability to be present and focus during your day then rank it on a scale of 1-5, 1 being important and 5 insignificant – only deal with the level 1 cases and learn to leave the rest for someone else to tackle. This is a really useful one if you supervise or lead others; giving them the ability to tackle less significant issues at work builds their confidence and helps you stay present in your own role.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR INTENTIONS
How we spend our days creates the life that we lead and so we’re either moving towards our intentions or away from them. Try and keep in mind what your intentions are; you could create a vision board or a written list. You could have positive reminders in the form of backgrounds on your phone or computer – even at work. Daily reminders are so very powerful and those alone could be enough to help you turn away from distractions and spend your days mindfully moving in the direction of your dreams.
Which one of these sounds the most manageable to you? Then that’s the place to start. If you’ve read any of my other posts then you know that I’m a big believer in taking baby steps; finding something small that you can stick has always worked best for me and is how I’ve created most of the positive habits I practice throughout my day.