There’s a reason you distract yourself from achieving the thing you want most, but haven’t gotten yet. And it’s probably not what you think…

But what’s even more promising is that you can eradicate distractions and get what you want if you know exactly why they exist to begin with.

I was a very “distractible” kid. It was a time when the term ADD was almost non-existent, but I can guarantee it would have been used on me.

I was also using distractions well into my thirties so my brain was basically running on a tank that was about half full.

In other words, it took me a very long to meet my goal in my career, a solid relationship, a great community, etc. One of the main reasons it took me longer to achieve my most important aspirations was that I was getting caught up in distractions.

I’m sure you have your list of distractions that slow you down and nearly stop you in your tracks from getting what you most want in life.

Are you engaging too much in any of these things:

  • TV Shows
  • Movies
  • Video Games
  • Sex
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • News
  • Politics
  • Internet
  • Shopping
  • Social Media

Up until a few years ago, my main distractions were movies and social media. I probably spent two-three hours a day distracted in these areas. I also had a short stint during the election season of getting overly involved with politics and found myself distracted.

These were distractions for me, because they were slowing me down and getting in the way of what was most important to me–growing my company quickly to help as many therapists as I could in their practices.

After meeting a couple of highly influential mentors and studying about efficiency and inspiration I cracked the code on distractibility. Now, I only watch movies on rare occasions for entertainment, and I use social media consciously to connect to other people in a time-limited way.

My two-three hours of distraction are essentially non-existent.

Think about all the hours of distractions that you could put into getting what you want. Maybe it’s a full-time practice, a new relationship or improving on the one you have, owning a home, more money and investments in the bank.

If you were anything like me, your hours of distraction are probably somewhere in the range of 15-30 hours a week.

Take a moment to be honest with yourself to add them up. I’m referring to all the minutes and hours that you don’t need a break, but you take one anyway out of habit.

What was your number?

If it was 15 hours a week that’s nearly 800 hours a year. If it was 30 hours a week that’s almost 1600 hours a year! If you put those 1600 hours toward even one goal such as a better marriage or a full-time practice don’t you think you would have already achieved it!

So why do so many people spend so much time with distractions?

It’s quite simple. When you stop filling your time with activities from what most inspires you, you will fill your time with less inspirational things that are based in short-term gratifying behaviors.

The thing that most inspires you such as building your practice, finding a partner, having a better marriage, purchasing a home, are long-term gratifying prospects. The only way to achieve them is by playing the long game, which means you get some instant rewards, but mostly you receive long-term gains over time.

When you lose sight of what inspires you in the day, you will go after instant gratification in the form of pleasure, simply, because you feel less inspired in that moment and you want to feel better.

As you focus more and more on pleasure seeking behaviors they “distract” you from what most inspires you, and create pathways in the brain that are difficult to overcome.

However, there’s a way out of distractibility so you can reclaim those 800-1600 lost hours a year.

Here’s my 7 Steps to Eradicate Distractibility and Attain Your Goals:

1. Get absolutely clear on what’s most important to you right now in your life. Start with one thing. Is it your career, family, spirituality, etc.?

2. Set a clear, reasonable and attainable goal in that area.

3. Create a written overview that describes how to get you to that goal within a set time frame.

4. At the beginning of each week write a plan of all the actions you need to take that week to get closer to that goal.

5. At the beginning of each day write a list of the most effective actions for attaining your long-term goal. Make sure the list is under ten items or you won’t finish it. Also, if you need to study in order to achieve your goal make sure to include that in your daily actions.

6. Take a couple short breaks that are 15 minutes or less throughout the day where you do whatever you want.

7. Make certain you finish your task list before indulging in any distractions. If you find yourself indulging in distractions before finishing your task list, close your eyes and visualize your goal and how it’s inspirational to you. Once you’ve fully seen yourself reaching that goal in your visualization you will have the inspiration to get back to the tasks for that day.

Just keep remembering you are always capable of more in your life. If you want to reach that next level you simply have to focus your energy on what’s most important to you and you will achieve it.

The following two tabs change content below.

Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

One thought on “7 Steps to Removing Distractions and Attaining Your Goals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *