4 great tips for avoiding distraction

4 great tips for avoiding distraction

Whether you’re working towards happiness or success or any other goal, distractions are always lurking in the shadows, waiting to draw you away from your focus.

Happiness requires a laser like focus, over and over again. And lacking this is why many don’t enjoy as much happiness as they could or as others do.

So to avoid distraction and to focus more on your health or happiness or whatever, keep reading…

via the Ladders by Eric Barker

Have you said any of these recently?

I get distracted and procrastinate.
I make plans but I don’t follow through on them.
I get things done… but not the right things.

The problem often comes down to just one word: “reactive.”

Maybe that wasn’t the word you were expecting. But reactivity is a problem people have been contemplating for thousands of years. And, yes, it’s a bigger issue now than ever.

What is it? What can we do about it? Neuroscience and ancient wisdom from Buddhism and Stoicism have answers.

Let’s get to it…

Your Reactive Brain

Maybe you’re lazy, maybe you’re not lazy. But one thing is for certain: your brain is.

Research shows that even in our free time we often don’t do what we enjoy most — we do what is easy. Your brain doesn’t want to waste energy. So it’s always a bit lazy.

Problem is, the world is not lazy. These days it’s constantly shouting at you.

Sometimes it’s the siren song of entertaining things like text messages from friends and other times it’s scary things like work emails — but it’s shouting.

Everything is demanding our attention. We’d like to make a plan and follow through or accomplish goals undistracted but the world seems to be working against you.

When I spoke to Duke professor Dan Ariely, he said exactly that: the world is working against you. Here’s Dan:

The world is not acting in our long-term benefit. Imagine you walk down the street and every store is trying to get your money right now; in your pocket you have a phone and every app wants to control your attention right now. Most of the entities in our lives really want us to make mistakes in their favor. So the world is making things very, very difficult.
Your lazy brain is happy to just react to that relentless bombardment of stimuli coming its way. But when you just react, you don’t usually make the best choices. And while you’re definitely doing something, you’re rarely achieving your goals.

That’s because when you’re reacting, you’re not in control of your life. In fact, reacting is the opposite of control. You see something fun and you chase it. You see something scary and you run away. Either way, your environment is determining your behavior.

It’s ironic that we so often say to others, “Don’t tell me what to do!” And yet, all too often, we’re letting the world around us determine our actions. We’re not starting from plans and decisions, we’re reacting.

And these days we’re often sitting there hoping we get a new text, email, update or notification. We’re all but saying, “Please, tell me what to do.”

And while technology has made the problem worse, this issue has been around forever. About 2000 years ago the Stoic philosopher Epictetus said this:

If a person gave away your body to some passerby, you’d be furious. Yet, you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled — have you no shame in that?

(To learn the 7 step morning ritual that will keep you happy all day, click here.)

More often we need to step back rather than dive in. But how do we do that? First, we need to prepare…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE