August 14, 2016 by Jeff Lowen
As humans in the 21st century, we are solicited at every corner. To make matters more distracting, we all walk around with Encyclopedia Britannica in our pockets; cleverly disguised as a smartphone. For those of you who didn’t get the reference to an otherwise prehistoric library of knowledge, it is the oldest English-language encyclopedia still in production, and was first published before America was America. Between 1768 and 1771.
Having this kind of power at our fingertips challenges our attention at every moment. Just ask my semi-insomniac sister, among millions of Americans who’s bedside partner needs a charger and a USB cable. Coupled with the thousands of great articles, snippets of information, blogs and newsletters we sign up for and hardly have time to read; if you’re not a master at tuning out the noise, you’ll find yourself deep in the sea of it.
So how then can we focus on our own objectives and manage the curveballs, fastballs, and knuckleballs that are being pitched to us every time we stand up to the plate? It’s easy to find many posts about these distractions and what to do about them. “Just do these 5 things…” one might say. Or, “10 must read productivity hacks…” In a world where our children are being encouraged to have a cell phone before their age has double digits, they’re not being taught the habits that will promote focus, attention, and perseverance. The very ingredients that create amazing opportunities we so claim what this great country (And this great life) stands for.
Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what do you really want. What mark do you want to leave on the world? Whom do you want to impact? Are you content with just being a good person (Whatever that means), then when you die you hope to get into heaven? C’mon, you’ve got gifts to share here and the world – even your world – can be better for having you in it. Of course, sharing your gifts doesn’t mean standing behind your social media pulpit and lambasting all that would oppose your opinion. It means, what positive things would you like to have a hand in promoting?
They say, “Identifying a problem is half the battle.” I don’t know who “They” are, but I know from personal experience, that when you become aware of the challenges you face, the solution is right there, too. For example; I was engaging in multiple topics that I was very passionate about on social media. Discussing important issues I thought were impactful with people I knew and people I didn’t. On a daily basis, just like many of them. Then, I realized that just like everyone else, I have an opinion. It’s not better or worse than anyone else’s, it’s just different. Sharing this with the masses on social media wasn’t a highly beneficial use of my time. I became aware, identified a time waster and eliminated it. How it snuck into my life and commandeered my valuable time might have something to do with the weapons of mass solicitation in our society, I think.
Time wasters in your life are everywhere. Just like in my life and everyone else’s, too. However, I was only able to identify this as a problem when I knew what mark I wanted to leave on the world. Hey, if regularly sharing your opinion on social media is your life’s mission, I say go for it. It’s not mine. What is your mission? Perhaps it’s easier to tell what your mission is not. Then, you can begin to see what you truly want from your life.
- Should you be building your business and instead of not doing the things that it requires like, prospecting for new business, talking with and converting prospective clients, getting better at articulating your value and service?
- Do you do the easy stuff first, and then do more of it? Y’know, avoiding those things you don’t like to do but know you should.
- Do you have an accountability partner for every category in your life? Business, financial, personal, family or social, health, etc. If you have a goal, you need an accountability partner for it, too.
- Do you rationalize and justify time-wasting activities by telling yourself how important they are?
- Are you a news junkie? Do you have to ‘be in the know?’
- How often are you “just checking in” on Twitter, Facebook, etc?
- Do you spend hours researching on Google to make a $100 purchase?
- Are you a ‘planner’ or make list after list, only to transfer it to the next day or have to scrap it and start all over?
- What are you telling yourself that is not the person you want to be?
We can’t afford to wait. You can’t, either. Consider the cost of these things. Is it really worth it? Of course, if you’re unclear about your direction, then these activities are more likely to creep into your life and before you know it, you’ll be so busy and won’t be getting anything done. If you need some help in that arena, read my post, When You Aim For Nothing You Hit It With Amazing Accuracy.
What do you want to spend your time doing? Who do you want to be impacted in a positive way as a result of it? What gets you up in the morning? What are you passionate about? What and who do you love? Who would you like to spend your time with? Who can help you?
My little blue magic pill is this: Do everything you can to keep your heart focused on and your brain thinking about the person you want to become. If it’s not that way now, telling yourself “you always get sidetracked,” or “you’ve never been able to…” won’t help at all. And here’s a news flash… You can’t do it all. Reach out to someone that can help you. How much time do you spend each day filling your head and exercising your mind and your activities with who you want to be?
Begin by getting real with yourself, and know that each and every one of us is meant for great things. You… Are meant for great things.
And, you don’t need permission to create them.