The comedian Steven Wright once said, “I’d love to be able to daydream, but I get distracted.” Distractions happen, but do we really have to be bothered by them when we’re trying to be and act exceptional? Of course you do! You just need to understand the best way to deal with them.
First things first: Have a specific vision. With a specific vision, realistic goals, and daily planning, you’ll be able to measure your progress and avoid “firefighting distractions”.
You can effectively avoid or fight off distractions by being focused on a consistent basis. Have a daily plan and outline the top one to three things that you must accomplish that day. In developing this daily plan, also try to identify what barriers might stop you from completing these key tasks. Have a contingency plan ready if you get stalled.
When things get hectic, learn to take a “time out” – no more than 10 minutes to assess the circumstances you find yourself in. During your time out, catch your breath and ask yourself these two questions:
Am I working on the right things based on the goals I want to achieve?
And, is this the best use of my skills and abilities or should someone else be doing this now?
To be exceptional, you need to recognize that now – not later – is time to get up close and personal with all of those distractions that you face every day and get rid of them. The below questions will help you understand the distractions you face so you can eliminate them in the future.
- What is your biggest distraction(s)?
- How does it impact (hurt) you?
- Be honest, why do you think these events occur?
- What are the top three steps you can take to eliminate it?