Beware The Distractionoid!

The Distractionoid has the ability to keep you from your goals ... if you let it.
The Distractionoid has the ability to keep you from your goals … if you let it.
Drawing by Jenna.

“Papa, I’m going to go work on my document, if that’s OK with you.”

And with that, my daughter bounds into the living room, with a hot cup of Milo that she just made, sits down at “her” laptop, and begins working on her “document,” which is a story that she’s writing.

Like any 8-year old in this day and age, she has taken to technology like a fish takes to water. She has more gadgets now than I had as a kid, even when I was in college. She now possesses, or uses, a laptop, iPad, and an Android phone that she uses as her personal YouTube player. I’m happy that she’s immersed in all the technology, but also an avid reader and showing a talent for drawing.

Her favorite books are the “Warrior” series and she has found many fan-made videos about “Warriors” on YouTube. She also has a penchant of watching these videos while on the computer, drawing, and various other tasks.

It is with this deadly combination where my wife finds our budding author some time later. Instead of writing her great masterpiece, she is watching YouTube videos. The dreaded Distractionoid has struck again!

My daughter, like most people, including me, have wonderful intentions of getting work done. Whether it’s the next great American novel, a blog post, homework, or just getting some housework done, we are all tempted by the Distractionoid. The Distractionoid can take on many forms. Technology is the main culprit, with  email, social media, and video sites being the biggest Distractionoids.

But, there are other seemingly harmless Distractionoids lurking everywhere. The news (in all it’s forms), TV (the biggest mind numbing device known to humanity), gossip, anything that keeps us from what we need to do to reach our goals is a Distractionoid!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to see what’s going on in the world, watch your favorite TV shows, or catch up with Aunt Sally, but not at the detriment of doing what needs to be done.

Here are some simple tips to keep the Distractionoid at bay:

Set a Timer. If you have difficulty focusing on a single task, set a timer for 30 minutes and work on that single task. Knowing you have a finite time limit will help focus your mind.

Turn Off All Technology. Turn off email, websites (particularly social media sites), radio, and definitely TV. If the silence is distracting, put on some soft instrumental music. If you’re in a noisy environment, close the door to your office, or put on headphones and listen to the aforementioned soft instrumental music.

Break Down Tasks. We can easily be overwhelmed with the enormity of a given task. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a certain task, break it down to smaller tasks. Instead of having the task of “Write Book,” which would overwhelm any author, break it down to “Write Chapter 1,” “Write Chapter 2,” and so on. You can further break it down by scene and so forth.

Exercise. The body is meant to move. Being sedentary will not get the blood moving and the oxygen flowing. Two things (besides nutrients) the brain needs. Once the brain is fueled up, it’s easier to focus.

Meditate. Meditation has many benefits including increased focus, reduced heart rate, lower blood pressure, deeper relaxation, and can even jump start intuition, creativity, and inspiration. You can experience these benefits while meditating as little as 10 minutes a day.

The Distractionoid has the ability to show up unannounced, and like a ninja, hide in the shadows until it pounces on you and robs you of precious time. Don’t let that happen to you!

How do you keep the Distractionoid at bay? Let us know in the comments.

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