In the last chapter, you learned why setting specific goal deadlines is key to achieving your goals. You need to define the long-term goal and how long you want to take to achieve it, then break that long-term goal down into several short-term goals, then divide the overall time period among those short-term goals to achieve the long-term goal in the time period you want to achieve it in. In this chapter, you will learn how to deal with and eliminate distraction, as well as track your progress so you can improve your focus and productivity.
Everyone faces distractions. Whether it’s internal distractions, such as having doubts on completing tasks or losing focus during a task, or external distractions, such as social media and email accounts, smartphones, and/or unexpected circumstances that pop up, everyone has to deal with various distractions on their way to achieving goals. The key to successfully achieving goals consistently is to overcome and eliminate the distractions that stand in your way.
For instance, if you are looking to lose 100 pounds over 12 months, you have to resist the temptation or distraction of eating a lot of nutrition-deficient foods. There are likely several birthday parties and celebrations where rich foods and cakes will be presented. In addition, there are several notable holidays where rich foods and desserts are presented. All of these present distractions to your long-term goal of losing 100 pounds over 12 months. If you allow yourself to give into the temptation and distraction of eating much to any of these rich, nutrition-deficient foods, you will hinder your progress toward losing those 100 pounds over 12 months and may even prevent yourself from achieving it.
Similarly, if you are looking to earn a college degree in two years’ time, you have to stay focused on the coursework you need to complete in order to achieve that degree in that time span. This means you must be willing to complete the assignments and study for the exams needed to successfully pass the courses, even when your family wants to spend time with you or your friends want to go out for a night out, etc. If you allow these distractions to interfere with your studies, you may fail the courses and prevent yourself from earning that degree in the time span you want to attain it in.
It’s often helpful to map out each day in terms of the tasks you need and want to complete, then sectioning off the amount of time you believe you can get those tasks done in. Then, at the end of the day, check to see if you accomplished everything you wanted to accomplish. If you did, that’s great! If you didn’t see what tasks you didn’t complete, then review and see why you didn’t get those tasks completed. Were the tasks more difficult than you anticipated? Did you get distracted by something? Did you lose focus?
Determining what caused you to take longer on a task will help you to eliminate its influence over you when completing future tasks. If you were distracted by email or social media, log out of those while you are completing your work so that you are not distracted by them again. If your family or friends are providing distractions, ask them to not disturb you while you are studying unless it’s an emergency or consider moving to another location (such as another room in the house/apartment or even going to a library) to conduct better studying and more timely completion of your work.
Reviewing where you fell short in completing your tasks is key to knowing how you can improve and complete more of your goals, both short-term and long- term, in the amount of time you expect or even earlier. This way, you will be able to complete more of the goals you wish to accomplish in your life, leading to more fulfillment, a better legacy, and more opportunities for achievement, wealth, and satisfaction.