Distractions are part and parcel of our every day lives. I often wonder how someone from the 1800s would feel if they were transplanted into the 2020s. Would they be completely distracted by social media, technology, constant bombardment of up to the minute news and weather warnings as well as the general pace of life today?
It would be fascinating to go back in time and re-visit the idea of a slower, more peaceful existence, however, since we don’t have the technology to do that just yet – we can strive for a simpler and more focused life in the present. Here are 6 tips and strategies that can help with living a more serene, distraction free life:
- Use the idea of time blocking to prioritize and to focus on what is important to you. Block out your day into 1-2 hour blocks and outline how you’ll use that time based on your priorities. Set aside free time as well so you don’t feel constricted. Commit to forgoing all distractions and focusing solely on what you’ve decided on during your identified blocks of time.
- Remove your most tempting distractions from your line of sight. I’ve found that if my phone is nearby, I’m more likely to check to see if there’s a new message. Assign specific times of the day for checking email, phone messages, social media or any other distracting form of communication. Then, put the device away until that period of time. If you’re worried about emergencies, set a specific ring tone for contacts who would most likely call you in case of an emergency and let them know that you’re only available after a specific time in the day for everything else.
- Spend time in nature. A simple 10 minute walk outside during the day can serve as a time to center and ground us as we connect to the world outside. It can also be a time to sort through and process any thoughts and feelings that have come up during the day.
- Set a boundary between work and your personal life. End your work day at a specific time and spend time building a strong personal life as well. If you have good boundaries within the different aspects of your life, you will be more likely to be calm and less distractable when working on the task at hand.
- Say no when you need to and stay away from people pleasing. Being assertive about your needs and letting people know when you are and aren’t available to them will give others clarity and keep your life peaceful and focused.
- Visit your purpose and mission statement every morning. Spend 10 minutes every morning on writing out your overall goal and your goal for the day. Your overall goal could be as broad as the idea of leading a serene, centered life and your goal for the day could be a narrower goal that incorporates your broader goal. As an example, if you have a day filled with meetings or running around getting tasks done, your narrower goal could be to successfully complete these while staying aligned with your broader goal of being serene and centered throughout the day. Being clear about your purpose and vision for your life and reminding yourself of the same every morning can change how you live your life in every moment.