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Are YOU your biggest distraction?

focus goals motivation productivity Feb 13, 2022

Do you ever feel like your biggest distraction is… ummm… yourself? Like you fight the battle to make time to work on your goals (because we know we don’t “find” time, we make it)… but then you sit down to work and your brain is all over the place?

No?

I guess it’s just me then.

There are times when I’m so stressed about so many little things or one big thing, I can’t seem to put it all out of my mind and focus. It’s like my brain falls into this cycle where it’s saying…

>>Fix the problem!!<<

>>Find the answer!!<<

>>Come up with a solution!!<<

And then instead of focusing on whatever I need to focus on in the moment (working on the course, writing the book, doing my taxes)… my brain is like a computer with 87 tabs open. It’s times like these that I find I have to break the stress cycle instead of just trying to power through. 

When it comes to breaking the cycle, there’s a question that I like to ask myself:

Is thinking about The Thing helping me come up with a solution?

Have you ever been working on a problem at work… Why won’t this spreadsheet add up correctly? What is the deal?

Or in your creative life… why isn’t this paint doing what I want?

Or in your personal life… where did I put that gosh darn salad strainer? Someone must have broken into my house and stolen it.

And you think and think and think and try to find a solution, but nothing works. So you finally get so frustrated, you get up and walk away from the spreadsheet/canvas/kitchen cabinet and go do something else. 

And when you STOP thinking about the thing, the answer comes!

You’re all… Oh! That’s why that scene isn’t working… and oops, I changed the formulas in the spreadsheet… and I forgot I donated the salad strainer when I was decluttering.

I know you know what I’m talking about.

We know it’s true… when we step away from the problem, our brain is better able to come up with a solution. Yet, when we’re dealing with a stressful situation, we won’t stop thinking about it for even one second.

I know it’s easier said than done, but for me… when I ask myself whether or not my turning the problem over and over in my mind is being PRODUCTIVE, I’m able to step back and say, “alright, if I’m going to think about this, let’s at least make a pro/con list or something.” 

I make sure my stressing is productive with journaling or list-making… until it isn’t. Once I move past the productive stage and recognize I’m in the thinking-about-it-for-no-reason stage, I’m more able to take a deep breath and focus on something else, even if it’s only for 30 minutes.

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE

If you’re turning a problem over and over in your mind, ask yourself if it might be worthwhile to let it go… knowing that in letting it go you’ll be more likely to come up with a solution.

Want more?

I have 6 more questions you can ask yourself to help break the stress cycle, but I thought that would be too much for one email. If you want to hear them, listen to this episode of the podcast. I also made a FREE cheat sheet; you can download it from the show notes.

Love,

Mel

Your 5-Star Life Coach ⭐️

P.S. Want more strategies for focusing? Listen to this episode of the podcast.

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