Yes, been there, said that—and let’s be honest: we’ve ALL uttered this phrase before. But how accurate is it really?
We all say we have “no time” to do what we want. But in reality many of us whom say this statement “overspend” time on various activities that are not for our highest good, which serve as distractors because we have anxiety over being able to have exactly what we want (usually due to our own false and limiting beliefs, but that’s a blog for another day!). It’s easy to get off track given all the distractors we have thrown at us from all directions each day.
So why do we divert our attention from our inner selves and focus so much on the external (consumption) instead (shopping, dining out, cars, luxury goods, drugs, alcohol…) and avoiding potentially fulfilling and beneficial activities because we are afraid, bored, or just in the habit of doing so.
What are your distractor factors?
- Do you perhaps watch TV instead of finishing a work project?
- Do you go shopping when you feel down and put everything on a credit card (when you only have $5 left in your bank account)?
- Do you spend what may amount to hours engaging in social media—each day?
Don’t get me wrong, we need activities for rejuvenating and nourishing ourselves, or just for fun but sometimes we go overboard and these same activities actually harm us by taking us away from valuable/advantageous activities. The point is not to judge, but just to become aware of time which we may be able to put to more productive use (or even to be used for self-care—such an important thing!)
A simple way to become conscious of what might be your “distractor factors” is to reflect on the past few days with these 6 Questions:
- When did you procrastinate to avoid something?
- How did you procrastinate (what did you do instead)?
- Why do you think you avoided it? (this is huge!)
- How much valuable time do you think you could have saved if you had engaged in the activity sooner?
- How did you feel when you avoided the activity?
- How did you feel when you finally did the activity?
The more conscious you are of your distractors, the more you are able to be empowered and limit the time you spend on them. And trust me—the better you’ll feel. It may not be feasible to completely take them out right away, in fact I wouldn’t recommend that because it’s a relapse waiting to happen, but you can begin to decrease the amount of time spent on said distractor.
As awareness grows, you may find your distractors (and time spent distracting) decrease. As this happens, you will notice you have more time to spend on necessary things (like paying the bills, cooking dinner…), self-care (walk in the park, hot bath, listening to relaxing music), and joyful activities (spending time with loved ones, engaging in favorite hobbies).
For me personally, I dislike and avoid public speaking at all costs. And when I am forced to do it, I fret about it daily (and hourly!) until it is over. But the feeling I get when it’s over (even if I didn’t do the greatest job on the presentation) is indeed exhilarating! It is a success in itself that I survived (haha), and that should be celebrated!
Oftentimes, once we do finish the activity, we feel SO much better. We are on cloud nine! So why delay that wonderful feeling? Increase your consciousness of your personal distractor factors so you can begin living more productively, purposefully, and presently.
Also, remember to take a second and celebrate yourself for getting an important task done. Mentally congratulate yourself (or even give yourself a prize for completion: a piece of dark chocolate, a 15 minute break to take a stroll outside, etc). I mean hey, this is your life and nothing wrong with having a lil’ personal reward system in place.