There are many different types of distractions surrounding us. At times, it can be tremendously hard not to get sucked in. Distractions and ineffective old habits throw us a curveball that can interrupt our routines and dampen our resolve, making it hard to implement our plans in a timely manner.
We cannot achieve more by using the same approach that we used before.
To achieve a greater outcome, we need to have certain practices and habits that help us combat distractions and sustain our drive. These practices and habits upgrade our determination and energy so we can move forward without hesitation.
However, we must go beyond those—in order to enhance the status quo; we need to learn new and creative ways of doing things that enhances the outcome. The direct benefits are a greater level of performance, effort, focus, and time management.
I recommend using the following three practices I call “NUA”, which I use with my clients to help them obtain superior results.
NUA is short for:
- Non-essential Practice- There are so many distractions in our life. Some are things that we do because “we have always done it that way” or “everybody else does it that way”, or it’s merely an unconscious behavior. Then, there are other distractions, as mundane as playing games on our phone (I’m guilty of that), spending too much time on Facebook, online shopping, or watching too many sports show on TV. All of these things might be a lot of fun at the time, however, in a long run, it creates disruption and stress.
- Identify all the “Non-Essential” things that are not necessary or are a pass time practice.
- Step back and evaluate why you are doing it and ask yourself:
- Does it provide the results I am looking for?
- Is it distracting me from moving forward?
- Is time spent on it is greater than the benefit? For example, sometimes we need to relax and take our mind off "serious" stuff.
- Eliminate the “Non-Essentials” that are not producing the superior result that you ultimately want.
- Unit Practice– Having a big vision and creating a strategic plan to achieve the vision can be overwhelming for anyone. It is easy to get overwhelmed and give up. I recommend practicing what I call Unit Practice where I dissect the plans into units that are basically bite size, easy to follow and have a much shorter time limit.
- Dissect the plan into bite-sized mini plans/projects that you can easily follow and complete.
- Add your mini plan list to your “To Do” list. Make sure that the list has a short time frame so if possible, you can check it off your list within 3-5 days.
- Algorithm Practice- I am one of those weird geeks when it comes to math and using an algorithm to solve problems. However, this practice is not as complicated as it sounds. This practice is an algorithmic computer programming terminology called “ifttt” which is short for “if this, then that.” This is a very powerful tool to analyze situations and come up with the best outcome.
For example: “if I attend this training program, then I will understand more about the need for global expansion” and the other scenario might be, “if I attend this training program, then I will not be able to attend the weekly management meeting where they will be discussing global expansion.” By going through several rounds of “ifttt”, you can figure out the best course of action based off of your priority and desired outcome.
The above 3 practices can help us do the things that are difficult to do by changing our approach. We can eliminate the Non-Essentials that are not giving us the result we are looking for, create smaller manageable to do lists using the Unit Practice, and find the best solution to the problem on hand by using the ifttt.
In my upcoming book “The CODE- How to Unlock your Inner Genius for a life of Equanimity”, I discuss unconscious behaviors vs. Conscious thinking and creating new habits: Studies have shown that about 40% of our actions are out of habit and are not from conscious thinking. Also, until recently it was thought that we were born with certain characteristics and personality traits that cannot be changed. However, there are many studies in the areas of neuroplasticity (also called brain plasticity) that prove that our brain's neural synapses and pathways are altered by environmental, behavioral, and neural changes.
The CODE explains “Now we know that our brain can restructure itself irrespective of present genetic coding, thus learning new habits and behaviors. With this understanding, not only is transformation possible but amazingly enough, it is in our own hands. For example, a person that was born shy can change the neuronal connections by repeating new habits with different traits and behaviors, thus transforming themselves into outgoing people.
Although it seems impossible to break habits and move away from distractions, science has proven that it is possible to transform our old habits and change our way of doing things through shifting perceptions and processes and removing unnecessary distractions. We can easily internalize the practices, and reap the benefits.