I’ve been going through a lot these past few weeks, and it’s made me realise just how much things in our modern life distract you from achieving your goals. Most people have dreams but never manage to translate them into achievable goals. And many of us who do manage to set achievable goals for ourselves end up getting sidetracked.
Below is a list of five things that I have realised can distract you from achieving achieving goals and following your dreams. Keep in mind that I’m not saying these things should be completely off limits while you’re on you grind, but a little too much of each is enough to put you off course.
Girls (opposite sex): This one is so obvious I had to put it first. There I was minding my own business, focused on my goals for the day. When all of a sudden a girl tells me she likes me, and then BAM! She puts a sledgehammer right through my wall of focus. Leaving me to rebuild the pieces.
We all need some attention from the opposite sex at some point, but you have to be able to balance it out if you have set out goals for yourself. All it took was for one girl to show me attention for me to break my 500 words a day objective. Do that a good few times and you are setting yourself behind.
Work: Now when you quit your day job and get called a bum, don’t you dare say “Gary Swaby told me to do it.” That’s not what I’m trying to say here. We all need to work, no doubt about it. It keeps us disciplined, allows us to experience things and helps with timekeeping. However, if you’ve set a big goal for yourself that will at some point include you setting up your own business or working for yourself, then trapping yourself in a career job is just going to create a lot of conflicts.
Friends: It’s Saturday. You tell yourself that today you are going to set aside a few hours of your time to work on that goal. The phone rings, it’s John Doe. He tells you that he’s ready for “A sick night out” with some of the other lads. You look at your watch and see it’s only 2 o’ clock, so you’ll still have a few hours to get some work in. You agree to John’s invitation. Then he mentions he wants to go to a bar before the club to get some drinks down first, but before that he wants to go to the mall to buy some fresh garments, and you should join him. The pressure is on, and since John is on the line you think “Fuck it, I’ll work tomorrow” – Knowing that Sunday is the day you watch the F1, wash all your clothes for work and cook dinner.
The point is – sometimes you need to go out with your friends and enjoy life. But sometimes you don’t.
Hobbies: I’m a geek, so my hobbies include playing video games, watching movies, TV shows etc. Occasionally I get into this trance where I load up iTunes and Spotify and just lose myself in the music (word to Eminem) and do nothing but listen to every one of my favourite songs at that moment in time. Your hobbies may be different. We all need hobbies though, they’re the activities that help us to escape from the harsh realities of life.
Sometimes I let my hobbies take up every single second of my free time, and although I go to bed in a slightly good mood, at the back of my mind I know I wasted some time that could have been spent doing productive things.
Home life: If you plan on achieving goals from the comfort of your home, then be aware that the comfort of your home can be your worst enemy. Example: I’m sitting in my room with Scrivener open. I scratch my head and my eyes catch sight of my shiny Playstation 3. I remember that I have about three missions left on Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, so I could probably complete it today and get it out the way. Thankfully I’m able to tell myself “no, later.” I look back at Scrivener and try to collect my thoughts once again, but then I look down at the carpet and realise it’s due a good vacuum. I tell myself “After I write some words.” I put my fingers on the keyboard, then the phone rings. I answer thinking it could be important. It’s a marketing call, somebody wants me to do a five minute survey. I say ok because I used to work for a telemarketing company. The survey ends up being fifteen minutes because the interviewer can barely speak English and the phone line was rubbish. I hang up the phone and feel my stomach roar and remember I should have eaten. There’s a tin of Tuna in the cupboard, maybe I’ll cook it with some rice. I cook and eat. Then my phone rings, it’s John Doe and he wants to go out.
I’m pretty sure you get the picture. Sometimes you may be better off working from another location other than home.
Let me know what you think of this list below, and maybe you know of something more that can be distracting.