I learned something yesterday.
Over the past couple months I have really been tryin got be aware of what I do and when I do it and WHY I do it.
And boy have I had a wake up call.
One thing I have really been paying attention to is my lack of focus.
I am so grateful that I can work from home (or anywhere, really) and that I am my own boss (except for when I’m coaching the swim team which is very part-time).
And I love what I do.
I love writing this blog and running e-courses for women and helping moms with the shit that can really drive us nuts.
But I kind of suck at staying on task.
I am so scattered and so distracted and depending on what I have to get done, it can take me anywhere from ten minutes to two hours to finish something, depending on how much I do not want to do it.
Sometimes I’ll have a whole day open and the potential for getting a ton of stuff done, and 2:30 rolls around and I’ve accomplished almost nothing.
Like literally nothing.
Other days I get things done, but it takes me forever.
I’m just realizing why.
A couple months ago I took a screenshot of something on my computer and posted it on my personal Facebook page — I can’t remember what it was but it doesn’t matter — and one of my friends was like,
HOLY SHIT, HOW MANY TABS DO YOU HAVE OPENED???
And my response to her was,
“Welcome to my brain.”
Which is accurate.
My brain is ALL OVER THE PLACE.
And it makes being productive and efficient very difficult.
When I’m doing any type of work on my computer — whether it’s working on developing an e-course or writing a blog post or drafting emails or whatever — and my brain gets tired (and that can happen very quickly), I have realized that I give it immediate relief.
And I do one of two things.
I check my phone or open another tab and check Facebook or my email or Instagram or the weather for next week or pretty much ANYTHING.
Or, I eat.
I get up from the computer, walk into the kitchen, and just start eating. I’m definitely NOT hungry when I do this.
But the brain relief is immediate.
And these two coping strategies are not healthy and they are not effective.
I mean, they are effective at giving my brain a rest, but they are not effective at getting me closer to where I want to be in my life.
This past weekend I was at a four-day swim meet with Number 3, and it was a very long weekend with trials in the morning and then finals again at night for three days in a row, and during one of the warm-up sessions I was actually fairly productive and I sat in my car and listened to a webinar by Marie Forleo entitled Five Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Make — and How To Avoid Them.
And you know what one of then biggest mistakes is???
Allowing yourself to be distracted.
I don’t think this applies only to entrepreneurs.
I think this applies to all human beings when you are trying to accomplish anything.
Whether you are watching a TV show while also scrolling through Facebook on your phone and have to rewind (is rewind even a word anymore?) because you missed half of what was going on, or checking Instagram every five minutes during your workout or whatever it is that you are doing, all this “multitasking” is slowing us down.
Slowing us way down.
Or sometimes even bringing us to a screeching halt.
So when I was listening to this webinar and Marie said,
“You can train yourself to be scattered or you can train yourself to be focused and present” and then she said “distraction is a dream killer” and then she said when you are distracted you are “training your brain to underperform,”
I was like,
I have trained my brain to be like a three-year-old kid who always gets what she wants.
My brain is spoiled and undisciplined!
And it’s not only affecting my business and my house and my performance, but it’s affecting my goddamned weight!
I could beat myself up, but to be honest, I just feel really good that I’ve had a moment of clarity and that I’ve finally realized how I’ve been sabotaging myself in so many areas of my life because of the way I’ve trained myself to be scattered.
So today I made some changes.
I only kept on tab open on my computer at all times.
I time blocked my day and I stuck to the schedule I made for myself.
I allowed myself to be uncomfortable and to let my brain get tired, and I only gave it immediate relief one time when I found myself eating cashews in the kitchen without realizing how I even got in there.
And you know what?
For the first time in maybe ever, I got every single thing on my plan done today.
EVERY SINGLE THING.
My brain is tired, for sure, but my brain is also really, really proud of itself!!!
So this is just the beginning and I know my brain is gonna be craving that instant relief so I have a whole lot of training to do.
But I’m ready for it.
And I’m looking forward to teaching myself how to be present and focused.
If you are having a hard time getting shit done, spend some time paying attention to how you are training your brain.
You might have your own a-ha moment.
If so, we can be training buddies.
Now go close some of those tabs on your laptop and start giving your brain a workout.