Can you imagine adding a significant amount of genuinely productive time to your day? What would you do? Bear down on some important work projects? Spend more time on personal projects? Rekindle things with family or friends? It may feel like we could be doing so much more if not for those annoying distractions that litter themselves throughout every day.

Now, before you start getting all worked up thinking about all the various distractions in your life (maybe you’ve dealt with one in the last several minutes), let’s take a step back and read the definition of the word itself.

distractionLet’s get one thing straight right off the bat: it’s not THEM, it’s YOU. Distractions are, for the most part, brought on by ourselves. Read those definitions again. You can’t have the first one without the second as a prerequisite. In a perfect world, a calm mind equals full concentration.

Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. Just because you closed your computer, doesn’t mean it isn’t repeatedly entering your thoughts. Digital pressures are real. So is email addiction. The simple (but not easy) answer is to power through; see that distraction and raise it 5 minutes of focus.

Our instincts are muscles. Though there are basic human programs that we all must run, we can strengthen instincts like focus and concentration through practices like journaling and meditation. It takes a willingness to try new things and a desire to truly commit to the practices that have the potential to work for you.

You can’t live in a bubble. So, in reality you can’t do anything about the existence of the chatting coworker or the car alarm that goes off like clockwork. What you can do is take steps to get yourself in a frame of mind where you notice those things, but they don’t take you out of your productivity zone.

Looking for a way to establish habits that enable better focus and less susceptibility to distractions? Download my free ebook and learn about kaizen. Or, for a limited time, schedule a free 15 minute call with me, here.

photo credit: Blick vom Karren via photopin (license)