There are so many opportunities to make choices in just about every moment of every day. We can choose to watch television, play games, read, surf the internet (including Facebook/Twitter), text, spend time outside, . . . the list goes on. When you have a task to do, git-er-done (as a famous comedian would say). It can be so easy to jump from one thing to another, especially when you have a task that you don’t want to do.
When you allow distractions to get in the way of completing a task, it prolongs the task. Think about that for a minute. If there is a task that you need to do but you jump to a “fun” distraction, it only prolongs the task.
I struggle with this every day. If I need to wash the dishes. While washing dishes I will have the television on (lying to myself that I can do both at the same time). I get distracted and end up stopping for a few minutes to watch what is happening on television. In reality it takes me at least twice as long to do the dishes vs. keeping the television off.
To discipline yourself to get the task done:
- Focus on task at hand. Recognize that you want to do something else. I no longer watch television when I do dishes. I will turn on music rather than television because I know music doesn’t won’t slow me down. It actually motivates me (except when I dance).
- Reward yourself. Once you complete the task(s), reward yourself with a “fun” activity that would normally distract you. Limit the fun activity to a short period of time so that you can move on to the next task. When using my computer, I will want to jump to surfing the internet. It is now my reward after getting important tasks done.
It was Helen Keller who said, Do not persist in folly. It is not a badge of character to continue down the wrong road.
What distracts you? How to do you combat distractions? Leave a comment here.