Distraction = Happiness Killer

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Sitting in my pajamas at 3:30 in the afternoon (and I am ashamed to admit I had not yet brushed my teeth - but you’ve done it too, be honest), I realized that I really had not accomplished nearly as much as I had planned to. Is this because I am lazy or unmotivated or depressed or don’t give a shit? No. That’s not my personality. Part of the reason is that I am under the weather (but really this is just another excuse, because it’s not like I’m on my death bed). The real reason is that I allowed myself to be so distracted ALL DAY. And this is a struggle all the time! We are faced with so many distractions on a daily basis, it’s amazing any of us accomplish anything anymore. I for one get distracted by an insane number of things (this is not an exhaustive list): social media, TV, my PHONE, the dogs, thoughts about what I should or should not be doing/what I think others expect me to be doing, housework, laundry, food, loud noises outside, my toes which are in desperate need of a pedicure, did I mention my phone?, and many many more things. Do I find some of these things inspiring/valuable/necessary? Sure. But do I struggle to limit the amount of time I allow these things to distract me from what I really want to be doing? YES. We complain all the time (don’t pretend you don’t) that we don’t have the TIME to work out, grocery shop, spend more time with loved ones, clean the house, write that book or finish that side project we’ve been working on, fill in the blank. Truthfully, we do have the time for many of the things we want to do, or can work to make the time. So what gets in the way? Distraction. I recently asked my mother, “how did you do it?! How in the world did you raise two children, work full time, keep the house clean, have dinner on the table every night, and hold a marriage together AND have a social life?!” Her simple answer was, “things were different then, we weren’t as distracted.” Light bulb moment. Today I felt the need to acknowledge this obvious struggle in all of our lives, partly because it is speaking loudly to me right now and I personally need to hear it, and partly because I talk to so many friends and colleagues and clients who have the same struggle. We never feel there is enough time. My intention for the month of October is already related to turning inward and grounding myself and doing the things that I need in order to feel stable and secure in the world, so this additional intention aligns quite nicely. I will be focusing on (and posting about) these intentions including minimizing distraction. Hopefully I’ll come up with some helpful tips, and if not, at least I planted a seed for you and gave you an opportunity to reflect on the ways you are distracted in life. What are those things that get in the way of you doing the things you want to do, accomplishing those tasks you want to accomplish, building those meaningful relationships, being a healthier person, or just being a generally relaxed and joyful person? And how can you reduce or eliminate those distractions? Are they meaningful and valuable to you? Are they helpful and do they provide something for you? Do they matter? Are you engaging those distractions intentionally or are you avoiding the things that allow you to be you and be happy? I’d love to hear your thoughts however you’ll like to share them, so leave a comment or message anytime. Happy reflecting! :)