Distractions are part of daily life but some days they’re easier to avoid than others, don’t you think? In the blink of an eye, something can set us completely off track and not only have we lost focus but we’re out of touch with the present moment.
Of course, there are some distractions that we can’t avoid or predict but there are plenty more that we willingly let into our day; some we even invite in with open arms!
If you dream of living a more mindful and intentional life, one that has time for regular self care then it’s worth taking a look at the way these distractions impact our time. This way we can remove and modify as many as possible, to give ourselves - and the people we love - the mindful attention we deserve.
Spend a few days looking out for those things that distract you up the most; are you being controlled by those notification noises on your phone? Do you have colleagues that just love to make small talk and distract you from your day? Maybe friends think that you’re always free - and call by - just because you work from home?
It’s good to identify the things that are distracting us so that we can take action to minimise them as much as possible.
Creating boundaries around your time and tackling daily distractions can help you live more in the present and also free up more time to spend on your own wellbeing. Once you’ve taken a look at what’s distracting you, you can start to make some changes. One of my latest boundaries is to access emails only during specific times, this allows me uninterrupted time to work on new projects. For you, it could be no calls or visitors after a certain time in the evening so that you can enjoy family time or a quiet yoga class.
Creating boundaries usually involves communicating your needs to someone else, don’t let this put you off though because more often than not people understand and respect your requests.
We love them but let’s be honest our phones are a terrible distraction, aren’t they? Checking them is a distraction in itself but then once you get swept away with scrolling...you’ve lost at least 20 minutes! And, for what...? Think of how else you could spend that time; you could have enjoyed a moment in the sunshine reading your favourite book, talked over the school day with your daughter or taken some time to meditate.
Firstly turn off any notifications and I always find it easier to put my phone out of sight; a drawer or cupboard works well and if possible make it slightly out of reach so that if you’re tempted it takes more of a conscius effort to retrieve it - giving you time to rethink your actions!!
When a distraction does come along that threatens your ability to be present and focus during your day try ranking it on a scale of 1-5, 1 being important and 5 insignificant. Only deal with the level 1 cases and learn to leave the rest for a later time or delegate them if that’s possible. Passing tasks along, especially at work can give more junior members of your team (or family) extra responsibilities to help build their confidence and helps you stay on track in your own role.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR INTENTIONS
How we spend our days creates the life that we lead and so we’re either moving towards our intentions or away from them. Try and keep in mind what your intentions are; you could create a vision board or a written list. You could have positive reminders around you in the form of quotes or pictures on your desk. Daily reminders are so very powerful and these alone can be enough to help you turn away from distractions and spend your days mindfully moving in the direction of your dreams.
I hope that I’ve inspired you to consider how many distractions are stealing your time. Time that could be spent crafting a more mindful life that allows you time for self care and moves you in the direction of your dreams. Now is the time to let go of these distractions, so where will you be getting started?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.