- something that diverts attention: something that interferes with concentration or takes attention away from something else
- amusement: something providing entertainment or amusement, especially something that takes the mind off work or worries and helps relaxation
- emotional upset: a state of great mental upset or emotional intensity
- mental distress or derangement
- mental confusion
- a drawing apart
- something that takes your attention away from what you’re supposed to be doing.
We face distractions daily. Sometimes what people do distracts us, because they take stupidity to a new level. Or they are drama queens or kings. Or they are purposely trying to upset or anger us.
Sometimes circumstances distract us. These are situations like financial stresses, health issues, or a tragedy like a natural disaster or a loved one dying in a car wreck, illness, or injury.
Sometimes our own thoughts distract us. It’s beautiful and sunny outside and you just want to play instead of working on your business.
How do you deal with them? Here are 3 tips for how to overcome distractions.
- Prioritize. If you know what your core values are – what is most important to you – and what your God-given purpose is, you can laser focus. Values might be family, faith, integrity, honesty, sincerity, and close friendships. It’s important to write down what really matters to you and what your goals in life are, breaking them down into goals for every year (if not every 10 and 5 years), month, week, and day.
“Reduce your plan to writing… The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” – Napoleon Hill.
Once you know what those values and goals are, you can push through the obstacles and distractions which come your way each day by praying about them, setting aside a certain time of the day/evening to deal with them (and for a limited period of time, such as with social media), or finding an immediate solution (such as outsourcing a tech issue that is beyond your knowledge). In some cases, you need to ignore the distraction and concentrate, like noise outside your office – or even RUN from the distraction (think Joseph and Potiphar’s wife).
- Renew your mind daily. If you keep thinking the same distracting thoughts, you won’t get anything new and great accomplished. Or as I heard on K-Love Radio this week, we can’t stay sustained on yesterday’s manna. Romans 12: 2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The way we renew our minds is by spending time daily in prayer, reading and meditating on the Bible, and worshipping God. When we do that, our thoughts and our actions will line up with God’s thoughts and actions. God is not ever confused or distracted. He will transform us into His image as we draw closer to Him. We begin to think and act more like Jesus as we spend more time with Him. When we think and respond the way He does, we will become all He created us to be and do the things He desires for us to do. We will bear much fruit, abiding in Him. (John 15:8)
- Let it go and let go. Let’s face it, sometimes things happen over which we have no control. The phone or the doorbell rings as you’re working on an important project, the washer or the car breaks down, kids get sick or rebel, a spouse says something hurtful or does something to anger or upset you, traffic backs up when you’re on your way to an important meeting, you lose your keys or can’t find a necessary document, a co-worker backstabs you, a friend gets mad at you, on and on. Breathe. Breathe again. Let it go. Let go of the control.
Ask God for His help and intervention. There’s only so much you can do with certain distractions. You’re not in control and you won’t ever be in that situation. Release the control. Even learn to laugh because laughter is good medicine. At the very least, recognize that an unexpected blessing or lesson is wrapped up in this particular distraction. God is growing you, stretching you, preparing you for something wonderful ahead. Cultivate gratitude for what you do have. Lay it at the foot of the cross. Give it to God, trust Him with it because He can handle it so much better than you can. Ask Him to help you respond Christ-like with agape love, compassion, and forgiveness.
How do you deal with distractions when they come? Leave your comments below.