I happen to have a wavering mind.
This is made worse by the fact that I have a tendency to get distracted easily by the most trivial of stuff.
The trivialities can be anything:
- Checking phone messages.
- Looking up on random stuff on the internet.
- Watching aquarium fish while passing by the fish tank.
- Doodling at the back of any random book.
- Checking if there is anything new in the fridge compared to the last time, which was about 2-3 minutes ago.
- Going onto Facebook just to check the latest updates.
- Doing the same on Instagram.
- Or Whatsapp.
Well, you get the general idea.
I frankly don’t know why this is the case. Ask my genes; They probably have an answer to it.
All I know is that I am an easily distracted person. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.
It’s only recently that I’ve been working on controlling my behavior and impulses. I still have a few loose ends to tie up before I can finally say that I am immune to getting distracted and so on.
But I’m infinitely better off than how I used to be before. Distractions don’t affect my life as much as they once did.
Coming to the distractions themselves, what I’ve noticed is that they tend to take a heavy toll on your productivity.
What is even more serious is that they do this rather stealthily. You won’t realize what has happened until it’s too late. I certainly didn’t notice this initially and I don’t think anyone else does either. These things seem trivial so most people just ignore it.
But make no mistake; little distractions have a major negative impact on your life.
I’ll explain how this happens in detail.
The problem is not the INDIVIDUAL distraction by itself. It is for the most part harmless and nothing much to worry about. At best, you can label it as a minor nuisance.
The problem lies in the way they COLLECTIVELY damage your productivity.
What happens is something like this…
Think about a random distraction and consider the amount of time that it sucks up. Presume that it will last for about 5 minutes. Now, think that you got distracted about 12 times. If you do the math, you’ll realize that you just wasted one whole hour.
If you consider a distraction lasting 10 minutes and the same number of times, you are looking at a loss of two hours.
If it goes on for 15 minutes each as in the case of those who have a serious issue with this (I once had this problem), you are looking at a solid 3 hours.
Considering that you only get 24 hours in a day, do you know what the impact is going to be?
Let’s look at this in detail:
If you sleep for 7 hours a day, you will be left with 17 hours.
From this, If you deduct about 9 hours for college or job with commuting time included (since most people are engaged in one of them), you are looking at a total of 8 hours.
Out of these 8 hours, if you deduct 1 hour for daily bathroom activities, you’ll be left with 7 hours.
If you add all eating activities from breakfast to dinner and deduct another 1 hour, you’ll be left with 6 hours.
On top of this, if you deduct another 1 hour for TV, you will be left with about 5 hours. This is a conservative estimate since studies have shown for example that Americans watch about 5 hours of TV a day!
After all this, try deducting even a single hour of distraction from the time left and you’ll see the amount of damage being inflicted.
Do you see how these tiny distractions are having a major effect on your life?
Can you connect the dots and see where it leads to?
There is only one solution to stop this.
Just consider every distraction to be akin to a deadly disease and avoid it as such. No matter what happens, stay away from it!
It will be difficult initially to resist the temptation but every bit of it is worth it. Regardless of how ‘tempting’ it may be, make up your mind not to get distracted at any cost.
There is simply no other solution to this.
You can either ignore these little distractions and skyrocket your productivity…
…Or you can surrender to them and waste your life away.
Either way, it’s your choice at the end of the day.