How many times a day do you pick up your phone?
And how many of those times are completely unrelated to work or the task at hand?
Have you found yourself lost in conversation or even looked up to realize that who you were speaking to has left the room?
We’ve all done it. And some of us are more guilty than others. Because it’s easy. When the world is at your fingertips, it’s really easy to get pulled in. I don’t know about you, but for most of us out there, our phones are even more advanced than our computers. Not to mention that companies market to us and design their apps with us in mind. They want us to spend more time on social media or playing their games.
While I will start by saying that my goal here is not to provide a “cure-all” or way to comfortably disconnect from your device entirely (because then how would you read all the wonderful things we have to post), I hope to give you some food for thought. A tool that can help you be more intentional with your time.
Let’s start, shall we?
What is the opposite of distraction?
A lot of people would say that the opposite is focus. But I would venture to say that it isn’t. You can be 100% focused on a distraction. And that’s when the distraction becomes problematic. That’s when you lose time, procrastinate, and lose connection with the world and those in it.
So what if we switched it for the word, “traction”?
When defined, distraction is “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else”. So, for the purpose of making a point, distraction is something that takes you AWAY from your goals. When we talk about traction, we can define it as “the act of drawing, the state of being drawn” or “the support or interest that is needed for something to make progress or succeed”. So, for the purpose of the previously stated point, traction is what takes you TOWARDS your goals.
With the year winding down and the promise of new years and new goals on the horizon, how do your goals from last year look? I know for me, more often than not, at this point, they feel as far away now as they did when I made them. But I can look back and point out multiple times where I got distracted from my goal. Where I gave my full focus to something that I didn’t need to.
Looking forward, I have a goal and I’m not waiting for the new year to start it. And that is to be in traction as much as possible. To take time throughout my days to make sure that I am deciding with intent how I am spending my time. And here’s what might blow your mind, it may sometimes involve my phone.
I enjoy a mindless game called, “Birzzle”. It’s kind of like Tetris but with birds. Like I said, mindless. But if I get home and decide that I want to play one game to clear my mind before I start making dinner and I do just that, then I have worked towards my goal. If I get home and decide to play one game and end up ordering dinner instead of cooking or interacting with my husband and my very cute dog, then I have taken steps away from my goal. And I probably feel pretty badly about the time I wasted and the strain it has caused in my relationship. Scratch that, I feel horrible about it once it’s done.
What can you do for the rest of this year, or any time, to move you towards your goals? What can you do each day to take you one step closer to checking something off of your list? I bet if you start to pause throughout the day and ask yourself if what you are currently doing is “distraction” or “traction” you’ll find yourself set up to be more productive. It’s just creating intent, it’s giving us control, and making us take ownership for how we spend our time. Think of all the things we can accomplish when we feel like we are masters of our time and not our phones. It might just lead to you living your best, healthiest, happiest life yet.
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