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Dream Derailer #4: Inability to Stay Focused

February 18, 2011

Okay, so one day you’re working on an important goal and the next thing you know you’re sidetracked and off to something else.   Nothing can derail your dreams faster than distractions.  Staying on track requires a conscious effort. Just because you have a dream and believe in it doesn’t mean that the things of the world will not distract you.  It doesn’t even matter how much you love or desire an outcome.  You’ve got to focus to hit your target.  And, if that target isn’t clear or keeps changing, how do you expect to hit it?  Choose, decide, commit, and stay focused. You’ve got to be willing to let some things go.  You may be able to do anything, but you still can’t do everything.  In ‘ Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha’, he states, “So long as the thoughts of an individual are  scattered he will achieve no results, but if his thinking be concentrated on a single point wonderful will be the fruits thereof.”

Identify Your Distractions and Do Something About Them.

Everyone isn’t distracted by the same things, but everyone is distracted by something.  You’ve got to decide who distracts, what distracts you, when you are distracted, and why you are distracted.  After that, figure out a plan to do something about it. If I know who distracts me, I can limit my time with that person when I need to accomplish something.  If it’s a specific time that I’m distracted, it might be wise to work on my important projects at a different time.   It also wouldn’t hurt to think about why you get so easily distracted either.  Perhaps your goal isn’t fulfilling enough or maybe it isn’t your goal.   Paul Graham calls the television and the internet, “visual crack,” since it is such an addictive distraction and suggests we turn it off or severely limit it.  Arjun Kulchani suggests choosing exciting work and using meditation as a tool for better concentration.   Cave Cheong offers a strategy he calls ‘time boxing‘ among other tips. Leo Babauta thinks we should schedule some ‘distraction time’.  Think about the strategies I’ve offered here and also check these wonderful sources below to pick out some ideas that work for you.

  1. 10 Ways to Eliminate Distractions by Leo Babauta
  2. 18 Ways to Stay Focused at Work by Dave Cheong
  3. 11 Ways of Staying Focused by Dave Cheong
  4. Disconnecting Distraction by Paul Graham
  5. How to Stay Focused by Arjun Kulkani

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

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