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5 Simple Life Hacks to Turn Distractions into Actions

Oct 18, 2016

For the person on a quest for success in today’s day and age… distractions are the enemy.

I have always been taught through all the personal development books and seminars I’ve invested in over the years that the key to increased focus is to learn to remove your distractions. Stop this, tune out that, block out this, etc.

Is it just me, or is it impossible in this day and age to avoid distractions? We’re so much more connected with all the social feeds, phones, buzzers, beeps and notifications, there is literally a distraction available everywhere we look. In fact, this article itself might be distracting you from whatever you were supposed to be doing right now. 😉

As a business owner, an entrepreneur, an international speaker, a husband, a dad, and an athlete, I’ve realized that responsibilities, goals and distractions will always be vying for my attention. To not only survive but thrive at today’s pace, I’ve learned to adopt a different philosophy about distractions.

Instead of avoiding them, let’s design them! Why not turn distractions from a negative into a positive? How about making them actions that can power our goals? This way, we’re designing ‘distractions’ that empower us and move us towards the things we want in life.

Rather than constantly reacting to what comes at us, let’s get proactive in seeking things, events or experiences that drive us forward. The process is a lot easier than you might think.

The following are five simple life hacks I’ve used daily over the years to achieve better results, enjoy more rewards and increase my happiness.

Here’s how you can start designing your distractions:

#1 – Wake up to music

What do you wake up to every morning? An annoying buzzer? That all too familiar default iPhone alarm? A random ringtone? Why not intentionally select a song or a playlist that gives you an emotional charge in the morning?

We all have associations to certain songs, based on our experiences, that anchor us to emotions. Some songs make us happy. Others make us think. Some amp us up! Others calm us down. Get rid of the buzzer and instead select an alarm song that gives you the instant neurological reaction you want first thing in the morning.

Tip: If you’re struggling to find that perfect alarm song, check out the article fromBusiness Insider that lists the 20 best songs to wake you up in the morning.

#2 – Change your screens

Think about the screens on your phone, iPad or tablet, laptop, desktop at work, Apple TV, etc. We all have digital screens in our life, and if you are like most of the world today, we spend a considerable amount of our waking hours staring at them. So why not make what we are looking at something that inspires us?

Customize the digital wallpaper. Find a visual or collage of images that makes you happy or focused or inspired. Maybe it’s pictures of your family, dog, or a place you want to go. Maybe it’s your vision board.

Throughout my home and in my office I’ve deliberately selected images of positive experiences, special people, dreams and others that trigger my emotional states. I love creating collages and turning them into screensavers. In doing this, I’ve designed a positive visual environment around me, no matter where I look.

#3 – Change your feeds

How much time per day do you spending scrolling through social feeds? I bet if you actually tracked it, you’d be surprised. And although scrolling feeds might seem like a mindless activity, you would likely be amazed at how something like your Facebook feed can influence your day. A note, someone’s post or commentary can instantly  positively or negatively affect our mood. Feeds filled with rants, negative comments, complaints and drama are worthless distractions – and can immediately distract you for the moment, hour or day.

You don’t have to delete or block negative friends, but you can design a feed that always gives you positive content. Replace negative feeds with words and images that make you happy. Follow inspirational pages. Subscribe to motivational quotes. Be inspired…and then be inspiring. And if you are looking for a place to start…  add me, I’ll be your friend 😉

#4 – Always have something scheduled you look forward to

This is an especially important one. Set up an event or experience in your calendar that you can look forward to or work towards. Literally schedule it – or else it won’t happen. Then plan for it. You can schedule incentives and rewards weekly, monthly and/or annually.

I start every year scheduling events and rewards that will motivate me. You’re more likely to stay on track towards your goal if you know what’s waiting for you when you achieve it.

#5 – Add daily calendar reminders

At the same time every day spend several minutes reviewing your personal goals or dreams. It’s a great way to condition the mental habit of focusing on what you want to have in life.

I recently led a talk series called “Life Lens” that teaches people how to actively shape the way they look at their life and the world around them. It begins with identifying your top 3 to 5 goals or aspirations – and daily reviewing them. Start today and schedule a reoccurring time each day that prompts you to read your goals list and remember why you’re working so hard.

The traditional definition of a distraction is that it prevents somebody from giving full attention to something else. By adopting these simple life hacks that turn distractions into actions, you’re making sure that whatever does have your full attention is actually making you a better you.

A short while back I posted a live video about this subject on my Facebook page and received a lot of interesting responses about what helps people focus forward. Drop by and contribute to the conversations!

Which of the above hacks really resonates with you? Let me know in the comments field.

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About the Author: Blake Mallen is an Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Philanthropist, and the Co-Founder & President of ViSalus, a global healthy lifestyle brand. Blake has been featured in industry publications as well as speaks at national conferences and international events on the topics of social marketing, brand building, organizational culture, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal growth. Connect with Blake athttps://blakemallen.com/contact/.

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