Most people are distracted from living a life of intention and working with purpose. Some distractions are indeed healthy and serve as a moment of much needed cerebral or physical rest.
Many distractions, however, are time consuming. If you are experiencing trouble starting a project, completing one or simply thinking about what to do, increase your self-awareness and determine how much time you spend on one or more of the following 15 common distractions. Each distraction also contains one or more questions to consider.
1. Preoccupation with others – Family, friends and co-workers surround you. How much time do you allow any one person/s inside your head? What is it about that person that preoccupies your time and thoughts?
2. Fixation with athletes – Sports and games are fun and relaxing. But do you need to watch every single game on television or go to every home game? What exactly would happen if you missed the game?
3. Fascination with actors – How much time do you spend thinking about what is happening with your favorite actor or actress? Up to date on all the latest gossip? Have you created a video about your feelings and posted it online?
4. Adoration of musicians – Do you follow your favorite musicians all around the country? Exactly how much time and money does the adoration of musicians cost you? Do you place a musician (or athlete or actor) on a pedestal almost as if to worship them? Why is this so?
5. Pontification of lifestyle – Do you only eat certain foods, shop at certain stores or drink certain tea? Must you tell every single person you meet your lifestyle choices regarding food, the environment or some other issue? Are you knocking others down to build yourself up?
6. Addiction to political issues – Is the only thing you ever talk about related to a political issue? Are so staunchly held to one political party that you are unable to consider new ideas?
7. Obsession with social media – The advent of social media has created entirely new distractions. How much time do you spend on social media sites? More importantly, why exactly are you visiting so many sites and spending so much time on them?
8. Addiction to television – Television shows certainly provide a much needed distraction. But are you addicted to a television show? Do you feel as though you are part of the cast? What would happen if you missed an episode or two?
9. Apprehension about the past – By definition the past already happened. It’s over. With that in mind, ask yourself how much time you spend worrying about that which has already happened? Are you able to change the past?
10. Trepidation for the future – The beautiful thing about tomorrow is that it never arrives. There is only today and this moment. Are you so scared about the future that your fear has distracted you from living in the present?
11. Occupation with technology – Mobile phone, tablets and lap tops have greatly enhanced our connectivity to one another. But must you have the latest version of a device? Do you show off your device to others? Just how occupied is your time with technology and why?
12. Infatuation with your body – Staying healthy through diet, exercise and rest is important but are you infatuated with your body? Do you obsess over how you look all the time? Are physical appearances so important to you that you immediately judge others by how they look?
13. Consumption of Information – In today’s age of information overload it is very easy to be distracted by information. Must you read every new book, article and blog post? How often do you find yourself consumed by new information?
14. Anxiety about money – Welcome to the club. Understanding how to make money is a practice. How much time do you spend learning about money and work compared to worrying you need more?
15. Fear of loving or losing love – Can you take your time with love or do you rush into it? Or perhaps are you so distracted by the loss of love you won’t allow yourself to love in the first place? Does being in love distract you from creating the person you want to be?
Remember, some distractions are indeed fine and even necessary. Only you can determine if the distractions actually prohibit you from living with intention and working with purpose.
If, however, you remain unhappy, unfulfilled or unsatisfied with some aspect of your life perhaps it is time to think differently. Perhaps it is time to divert your attention from that which is distracting you from translating your vision into reality. Perhaps it is time to be distracted by yourself.