Stepping Back From Distractions (Part 2)

Always rememberyour focus determines your reality. –George Lucas

Get a Grip on Distractions

If you’re actively trying to build your side hustle or looking to establish one, distractions can ruin your progress in a snap. You can’t build anything if you keep replying to emails and text, posting on social media, or reading a blog.

And even when you can switch between tasks, you won’t be able to do something effective? It will surely waste your business building time and make poor use of your attention.

All the time spent on communicating with other people or entertaining other distractions is time spent away from your creative process in building your side hustle. Being connected does help in encouraging your creative power, as you learn new ideas from other people and listen to their feedback, but you need to spend time on establishing your side hustle.

You can do that by making time for each process – for communicating and for building your business. When you separate these processes, you can focus your time on each specific process. Your time for building your side hustle will be spent actually establishing something, that will generate that additional stream of income you desire. Separate your interests and savor the time spent for each one of them.

Aside from spending time on building your business, you also need down time for the sake of your happiness, stress levels, and peace of mind. It’s important that you be completely disconnected and experience real solitude. You can nap, write, run, read, listen, watch, or engage in quiet conversation with loved ones.

Benefits of Disconnection

You can do a lot of things when you’re disconnected. It will allow you to enjoy the following things:

  • It will give you the chance to focus on your side hustle.
  • It will help you regain your focus on work and on other important things in life.
  • It will reconnect you with people without any distractions.
  • It will help you rest from the distractions of email, Facebook, Instagram, news, blog, IM, and more.
  • It will increase your productivity and your sense of satisfaction.
  • It will allow you to read books and/or listen to audiobooks
  • It will help you de-stress.
  • It will give you peace of mind.
  • It will give you time to reflect on life.

These are only a few of the things that you can achieve when you disconnect. So, how do you do it?

  • Unplug from social media, text, and phone calls. Shut off your mobile device when you meet with someone to avoid interruptions.
  • Activate blocking software. This will help you avoid distractions from the Internet, so you can’t always access Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or other sites.
  • Connect and disconnect in intervals. Disconnect for 45 minutes, connect for 15, and such. You can connect to social media as a reward for focusing on what you’re doing.
  • Don’t bring your work home. Once you have logged out of work, make sure to focus on matters outside of work. Focus on yourself, your side hustle and your family instead.

The unfortunate thing is that staying connected seems to have become an addiction. But you can beat that using these tips:

  • Determine your triggers. List these things down.
  • Look for positive habits that can replace the old ones that served as triggers.
  • Change the triggers, one at a time. Instead of checking your social media accounts in the morning, read something that will help further your side hustle.
  • Recognize your positive/negative habits and identify and focus on your positive habits to reinforce them and work to minimize your negative habits.

How to Reinforce Focus

Aside from making a habit out of disconnecting, you need to learn about focus rituals. These refer to a series of actions that you need to do habitually until you feel physically compelled to do them. Over time they should become almost instinctive.

So, when you have to follow a ritual, you can focus better and become more creative. Some of the rituals that you can try are as follows:

  • Spend your mornings quietly. Wake up before the other household members and dedicate 45 minutes to an hour on self care. That could be personal development, exercising, or working on a task that further advances your side hustle.
  • Prepare a to-do list. Start with the three biggest tasks of the day, or the one major thing that you want to finish before the day ends. This is your focal point for the day.
  • Learn to refocus. During the course of the day, you might get distracted. So, refocus on the important tasks at hand every two hours or so. Close your browser, put your phone down and clear your head, then look at your to-do list again.
  • Focus, then rest. Do this alternating exercise to make sure that you stay focused. Focus for 10 minutes, rest for 2; focus for another 25, then rest for 5, and so on.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. Complete your first task before moving onto the next project.
  • Connect, then focus. Set a certain time to check your email or go social, then disconnect to focus on your side hustle. Reconnect for another period of time, then focus. Repeat this cycle.
  • End your day right. Enjoy your evening by disconnecting.
  • Perform weekly focus rituals. Review your week, look at the projects within your side hustle to monitor your progress, and make the necessary adjustments. Edit your to-do list, change your focus rituals to include only those that work, and review the rest of your professional and domestic life to see what needs changing.

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