Product Management Library of Knowledge
Handle Your Distractions to Keep FocusedHandle Your Distractions to Keep Focused
by Wendy Hearn
You've chosen to be more focused, you've discovered what you want to focus on, and you know what you need to do to maintain that focus.* So that's it, job done; you're totally focused. Well that may be true for the moment, but there are still distractions which may get in the way. Although you've taken all the critical steps, there are still many things that can stop you being focused. Why not approach it like a game you're playing? This enables you to keep experimenting, evaluating and improving parts of it. It's an ongoing process. Part of this process is to become aware of any distractions that are either there now or may come up in time. When you're aware of these, you're more likely to notice them for yourself and find a way to handle them.
So, what sort of distractions could get in your way? There may be external factors such as interruptions, your environment, conflicting directions from different people or other people's expectations.
There may be distractions in your mind, such as the voice that's reminding you what else you need to do. Your mind may also justify to you that there's something else necessary for you to focus on. Being more focused takes you outside your comfort zone and your ego will object. Your ego will do anything to prevent this and will create numerous distractions. It will try all sorts of things to unfocus you and sabotage your success. As you become more focused, you may find that initially your ego objects even more and you may notice more distractions than before. Life is full of distractions. However, what if your ego isn't to blame? Maybe your intuition brings to your attention some other things you need to take care of.
What is often needed is enough space to see and acknowledge all this, and to understand whether it's a distraction or something you need to pay attention to. Being focused doesn't mean working hard all the time; it's also about having the space and time to be with everything and see it for what it is. Distractions won't just go away; they need identifying and they need solutions.
I've always been pretty good at jumping from one thing to another! Since paying more attention to what's been happening these past few weeks, I've realized that I often justify what I need to focus on, even when it's really a distraction. Because the things I focus on at these times fit into the bigger picture somewhere, I justify to myself that they're still worth doing and I'm not that far off track. However, they aren't where my focus needs to be if I'm taking the most effective action.
In order to have the space, I've decided to challenge myself to do nothing when my focus is slipping. I choose to sit quietly, do nothing and be with whatever is going on in my mind or notice whether it's my intuition. This prevents me from jumping from whatever I was focusing on to something that may only be a distraction anyway. Or there may be a really important message that I'm missing. It's about being in the moment, trusting myself and seeing what's needed.
Being focused takes practice. Keep identifying what stops your focus and experiment with ways of overcoming this. Only you can discover what you need to do through experimenting and evaluating. No one else can tell you what you need to do. What works for one individual, doesn't work for another. What are you willing to experiment with when your focus is slipping?
What I want for you is to handle the distractions that keep you from accomplishing what you want to achieve.
* see previous articles:
reprinted from:http://www.writethinking.net/ WriteThinking helps business and technical writers improve their writing and their businesses.
©Wendy Hearn; Personal and Professional Coach. She works with business owners, professionals and executives to discover and unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly take the actions required to have the success they desire. To receive Wendy's free newsletter, send an email to: