Don’t Let Distraction Take Over
Stop living a life of distraction by following this simple formula.
“Most Americans are living in a continuous state of partial attention,” according to behavioral psychologists. International business coach, Robin Sharma, observes, “The enemy of mastery is not mediocrity. It is distractions. The addiction to distraction is ruining many potentially awesome lives.”
Why are we so distracted and what can we do about it? A common trait of the most successful people is their ability to focus on the most important tasks and not get distracted. How do they stay on track?
First, recognize that we live in three circles. These were defined by Stephen R. Covey in his famous book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Today, the media (and social media) bombard us with a continuous stream of information that causes us concern. We have no control over most of this information. Unsuccessful people tend to live their lives in this circle of concern, living a life of continuous distraction and anxiety. They worry about things over which they have no control. Their distraction keeps them from achieving their goals, and they are often frustrated because they are not making progress.
In contrast, the most successful people are aware of their concerns but tend to focus their energy on the circles of control and influence. They control their daily activities, and they influence their children, co-workers, and clients. They are making a difference and achieving their goals.
How can you stay focused on your goals and your circles of control and influence? Starting your day with the right habits is the key. The following morning routine only takes 15 minutes and is your most important 15 minutes of the day.
Your Morning Routine (Your first 15 minutes of the day)
- Start with Gratitude. Bring into your mind the things for which you are grateful. This will put you in a positive energy state. If you’re writing affirmations, this is the time to do them as well.
- Time block your agenda for the day/week. Time blocking has been proven to improve your effectiveness. Do not open your email! The minute you do, you are on everyone else’s agenda. The email can wait 15 minutes. Either you run your day, or your day runs you.
- Write two personal notes. These are the most powerful items that you can send to another human being. Plus, it puts you in a good mood when you write them.
- Focus on your Hot List. If you are in sales, this is your list of people who want to buy or sell in the next 90 days. If you are a manager, it’s your list of tasks to be completed today. Make sure you’ve time blocked when to finish them.
- Focus on your Warm List. If you’re in sales, this is your list of people who may want to buy or sell in the next year. If you’re a manager, it’s your list of tasks to be completed by the end of the week. Again, make sure you time block your warm list.
I recently moderated a panel of top-producing sales associates. Their annual production ranged from $20 million to $40 million. When I asked them, “What is the one thing that most drives your success?” They were unanimous in saying, “My morning routine. When I get started with the right habits, my day goes great. It’s my most important 15 minutes of the day!”