Happy Sunday my friends! And a very Happy Mothers’ Day to all who are celebrating!
This week, I admittedly am being a bit selfish, and writing about a topic that I could truly stand to benefit from. Lately I have been feeling very distracted and finding it hard to center my focus. Feeling this way has been really frustrating for me, simple tasks are a bit challenging, my brain feels foggy, and my productivity levels are subpar. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling easily distracted and thus, lacking focus, right?
The truth is, it’s never been easier to be distracted. With smart phones, tablets, social media, and my favorite distraction technique, Netflix, our minds and our attention are constantly being pulled in many different directions. We allow “being distracted” to continue every single day.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone you value deeply, yet your mind is worried about an email that you sent and you’re anxious for a response? Have you ever sat down to tackle some admin work at home, but first clicked on the TV to catch up on the days news, only to be sucked into a marathon of your favorite sitcom? Have you ever been behind the wheel of your car, and heard a ding from your phone, tempting you to check your notifications, and then maybe sneak a peak at your social media? You know, since you’re already there? I’ll admit that I’ve fallen for each of these distractions at times, and when I finally coming back to the current task in the moment, I truly notice and have felt my mind and energy more scattered and less present.
As someone who creates and produces content on a weekly basis, I can definitely see a difference when I’ve allowed distractions to come into my work and my creative space versus feeling focused and clear minded. The disparity in scenarios couldn’t be more opposite, and even though I know that distraction isn’t helping me one bit, I find myself falling into the trap from time to time.
It might feel challenging, but I believe it’s up to us to take responsibility for where we place our attention and how we expend our energy. The distractions will always be there, but we have the power of choice. Focus and attention is a choice. Do we choose to subconsciously place our energy on the things that distract us? Or do we value and protect our presence and energy for what really matters and is meaningful? Luckily we can decide and take back our power with simple awareness and intention. If you’re finding that you’re easily distracted and struggling to focus, it is my intention this week to give you (and to remind myself) the tools and resources to take your power back, and give you more energy..
- Take an energy inventory. Where do you place you energy throughout the day? Are there any black holes or situations that are a major drain? Notice how situations make you feel and begin to be picky with how you spend your time.
- Set boundaries. If you notice that your first instinct is to reach for your phone to check what’s happening online, perhaps it could be useful to set some technology rules. I remember at a particularly heavy social media time in my life, I gave myself limits of how many times I could check my apps, which helped me give my internet time purpose, and broke my “automatic pilot” when it comes to my phone.
- Practice being one-pointed. If you pride yourself in being a master multi-tasker, you’re not going to like this tidbit of advice. While we have been taught to believe that doing multiple tasks at a time is a good and proactive skill, it’s actually quite the opposite. When we aren’t present to one task, our energy gets scattered leaving us feeling confused and unproductive. Set an intention to do one thing at a time and watch how it makes you and those around you feel when you’re truly being intentional with your presence.
- Set aside moments in your day to regroup and reset. I like to think of my meditation and mindfulness practices as my mental charging outlets. Just like we charge our phones when the battery is drained, taking time to be still and quiet can recharge and center your energy. If you’re feeling mentally scattered and are having a hard time shaking it, take a minute to close your eyes and breathe. By sitting and noticing your thoughts without any distractions we are able to find clarity and peace of mind.
I hope these shifts help you to release distractions and find the focus we all crave!
I’d love to hear your techniques for coming back to the present, so let’s keep the conversation going in the comment section below!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at email@example.com