Distractions are one of the biggest factors holding you back from reaching your goals.
I recently spoke about distractions and how you have to make sacrifice in order to eliminate them from your life. There are no excuses for why you can’t eliminate all distractions from your life. You just have to stay committed and continuously remind yourself of your goals. The following are the most common distractions and how you can over come them.
1. Social Media
While you’re studying or working, it’s very easy to get distracted by social media. You’re working away and you get a notification that someone has sent you a message or you might just get the urge to have a quick flick through Facebook’s news feed. Next thing you know, it’s 15 minutes later.
I’ve wasted hours staring at a phone screen, scrolling through news feeds of pointless news articles and photos.
I decided to change when I become aware of how much time I was spending on them. I would make a habit of documenting how often I was checking social media. On average, I was checking them every 3 minutes for 30 seconds each time. So around 15 – 20 times every hour.
That’s time I will never get back, but it’s a habit I’ve managed to erase and you can to.
If you have a social media addiction, it’s hard to change but if you stay persistent you can do it.
You only need to make one change in order to get past it. Delete all social media apps from your phone. That’s all you have to do.
Only looking at your social media pages when you have access to a computer saves you huge amounts of time that can be put towards doing something productive.
2. Social Life
In order to achieve your goals, it’s really important that you’re able to sacrifice your social life. I know a lot of people are going to argue that you need to find a balance, but I disagree.
We’re all guilty of letting our social lives get in the way of our goals. Spending your weekly income on partying over the weekend. Catching up with friends for coffee to distract you from studying. Spending the whole day at the beach instead of working on your goals. We’ve all done it and no matter how you try to justify it, at the end of the day, you’ll be behind on reaching your goals.
The world doesn’t stop because you want to party and hangout with friends. The world keeps going while you fall further and further behind. That’s the reality of it.
Now, I’m not saying that for the rest of your life you can’t have a social life. I’m saying, that until you reach your goals you have to put your social life on hold.
This is by far the hardest distraction to eliminate. You essentially have to give up friendships in order to pursue your goals. You have to stay firm and learn to say no. If you plan to achieve your goal in one year, tell them. Say ‘I can’t hang out right now but ask me again in 1 year’. It sounds harsh but it’s true. In order to achieve your goals you have to put them first.
Some friends won’t understand, some friends will leave but some will understand and be really supportive of your new choice.
Giving up television is an obvious one. There’s no worse distraction. It literally gives you nothing in return but lost time.
It’s very easy to get in a rhythm of watching TV for hours on end during your days off or coming home from work and watching it until you fall asleep.
I used to do this every day after work, binge watching TV shows only to break for food or on weekends, I would watch them all day while hung over from the night before.
I’ve now managed to cut TV out completely and replace it with reading books.
It’s actually pretty easy to cut out of your life once you realise it adds no value.
Firstly, cancel your subscription for Netflix or whatever streaming app you use. The more inconvenient it is to watch your favourite shows, the less you will spend watching TV.
The next is to unplug your TV and put the chord somewhere out of view. Like I said above, the more inconvenient, the less you will watch.
Lastly, get a bunch of books that interest you and use them as a break from work. Reading keeps your brain active, instead of completely vegging out watching TV.
4. Sleeping In
Sleeping in wastes a lot of time.
When you get up at 9:00am, 10:00am or even 11:00am, you lose the whole morning, time that could have been spent doing something more productive.
When you sleep in you expect to feel refreshed, more awake, when in reality you just feel more tired. You get nothing done and end up unable to sleep at a good hour that night.
Waking up early is important as it gives you a head start on all those people who decide not to chase their goals. It gives you those few extra hours to get things done before the day starts.
No one needs more than 8 hours sleep! People who say they need 9,10 hours sleep are just making up excuses. Just like no one needs to sleep in and no on needs to ‘catch up’ on sleep. These are just excuses people tell themselves to make them feel better about failing to commit to an early wake up.
People often say it’s hard and you have to let your body adapt. This is not true.
You set your alarm for 6:00am and when the alarm goes off, you get out of bed. You don’t hit snooze, you don’t turn it off, you get up! If you can’t sacrifice sleep then how can you commit to your goals?
Once you’ve decided on a time, say it’s 6:00am. The next step is to make sure that no matter what, you get up at that time. If you’re up late the night before, you get up at 6:00am. If you’re sick, you get up at 6:00am. No matter what, you get up.
You can’t keep making excuses because you don’t feel like doing something. You have to commit and act, and something as simple as getting up early is a good place to start.
When you decide to chase your goals with 100% effort, you’re going to notice that your life will start changing for the better and with that more opportunities are going to arise.
This is where learning to say no is really important. If you go after every opportunity that you face you will see yourself going sideways instead of up because you keep swapping and changing. Pick one thing and stick to it or at least if you do choose to pursue a new opportunity, make sure it puts you further ahead. Never take an opportunity that moves you sideways or back.
This is something that I follow all the time. If a new opportunity arises, I analysis it and if it doesn’t put me forward, then I don’t purse it. You’ve worked too hard and come to far to go backwards.
These are the 5 biggest distractions that will hold you back from achieving your goals. It’s critical that you eliminate all of them on your journey to success.
Things to remember:
- Delete ALL social media apps from your phone
- Make your friends aware of your goals
- Unsubscribe from video streaming apps and unplug your TV
- Get up early no matter what
- Analysis and choose opportunities wisely
- Learn to say ‘NO’
Since leaving School in 2012, I’ve had a want to do something different.
To do something great.
That want, although it took years, eventually turned into a need, a burning desire.