Distractions

Take Advantage of Warm Summer Nights for Meditation


Creative Commons License photo credit: gtall1

Are you drowning in a sea of chaos? Is your to-do list a mile long? Wouldn’t you like more peace in your life, even in the midst of the pandemonium around you? You can have the peace and joy you deserve when you learn to meditate. Warm summer nights provide the perfect backdrop for learning this life-enhancing skill.

In the summer, it’s easier to feel better about life. The warm weather, casual feeling of the season and endless recreational opportunities bring with them an excitement about life that’s hard to find in any other season. Use this positive momentum to your advantage to learn a skill that will fuel your happiness in any season.

Getting Ready to Meditate

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6 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Take Action

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Ashutosh Khandha

Taking action towards your dreams and goals is clearly vital, but it’s not always easy to stay consistent and build momentum. However, taking action is one of those important pieces to the puzzle along with proper planning and the drive to succeed. Those that take action are the ones that see results.

How do you motivate yourself to continue working toward your goals, especially when you face challenges? Although some strategies will motivate you more than others, it’s good to experiment with several different ways of finding your motivation. Then, when the chips are down, you can depend on one of these strategies to get back on track.

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12 Simple Ways to Create Joy in Your Life

It’s easy to get caught up with worries during difficult times. You may even think that finding joy involves a great deal of work or money. This isn’t true at all – there are plenty of ways to create joy in your life right now!

Here are some ideas to help you enjoy more happiness every day:

1. Turn off the news, TV, and computer. While theses things can be helpful to keep you informed and entertained, it’s important to remember life without them. You’ll be amazed at how many projects you can complete without these distractions!

* For example, instead of mindlessly watching another rerun of Seinfeld, complete a photo album or redecorate a room.

2. Take a class. Almost everyone has a hobby they’ve been meaning to try for a long time. It’s time to actually do it. Take the plunge and take a class!

* Most communities have a mail-out or website that lists their class schedule. You’ll find that they’re affordable too!

3. Get in touch with a friend. The Internet has made it easier than ever to reconnect with people from your past. Whether you last spoke to your friend last month or decades ago, it can be a joyful activity. Reflect on your friendship and discuss the good times you’ve had.

4. Start a garden. There are many plants and herbs that you can grow both indoors and outdoors. Experiment with different plants or grow some vegetables that you’ll enjoy later on, too. There’s nothing like the taste of homegrown vegetables!

5. Dabble in arts and crafts. There are so many fun activities that involve arts and crafts. Just take a trip down the aisle of your local craft store to get some ideas. For low cost alternatives, go to your nearest dollar store. You’ll be amazed at your new treasures!

6. Go for a walk or a nature hike. Take your family or go alone. Walking and hiking can be a great break in your day. You’ll be able to reflect, relax, and enjoy the fresh air.

7. Organize a sports night. Get some of your friends together for a game every once in awhile. It’s always beneficial to get a little exercise and it will be fun to socialize, too.

8. Start stargazing. On a peaceful, clear night, get in touch with nature in a different way. Enjoy the stars! Pick up an astronomy guide and learn to identify the planets and constellations.

9. Try journaling. One great way to reflect on your day and get to know yourself is by journaling. For additional fun, pretend you’re writing to a long lost friend or write a letter to yourself in the future.

10. Learn to cook something new. It’s always a good idea to add exciting new meals to your repertoire. Find a recipe website or a cookbook and try something you’ve never tried before.

11. Have a game night. Gather your family together for some fun and games. Invite friends over to add to the fun. If you’re feeling especially creative, try designing your very own board game and play that one.

12. Be a tourist. You can become a tourist without ever leaving your hometown. It’s likely that you haven’t been everywhere in your town. Pretend you’re on vacation and try all the tourist attractions. You’ll learn something new and may even discover places you’ll enjoy visiting often!

You’ll soon find that opportunities for joy in your life are around every corner. With a little creative thinking, you can have a great time every day, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it, either.

I dare to focus only on the job at hand.

I allow myself the luxury of total concentration. When I tune out distractions and live fully in the moment, I find that my tasks are completed quicker and with a higher quality of work, bringing me more success and leaving me with more time for other things.

To this end, I do everything possible to prevent distractions.

If office noise is bothering me, I put on headphones to muffle it or turn on music to drown it out. I let my co-workers know what time I need to focus and when they can come to me for questions. I avoid distractions by forwarding calls to voicemail and I check my email during certain hours, only.

I plan my work and work my plan. Each day I take the time to plan the steps of each project and then I stick to my schedule. I put easy tasks first so I can develop my focus quickly and build momentum as I work through the project.

Lastly, I organize my surroundings so there is no interruption in my workflow if I have to find necessary items or papers.

I accept that there are times when distractions are necessary. When this happens, I take care of the situation promptly and get right back to my task. As before, I tackle an easy item first to refocus and rebuild momentum.

Today, I challenge myself to focus with total concentration on one job at a time, leaving the multi-tasking to those who haven’t discovered that there is a better way.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Do I actively tune out distractions so I can focus on the job at hand?
2. How can I organize my office space to reduce distractions?
3. Do I try to multi-task? If so, do I really get more done in less time? What about quality?

Developing an Intense Focus

We all have a tendency to become side tracked. We may want to complete an important task, yet many distractions poke and prod us away from our goals. How can we keep our focus on the task as hand?

Distractions may be hard to ignore, especially when it’s a chatty coworker, a ringing phone, a demanding spouse, or many other things. Thankfully, there are some tried and true strategies we can use to put the distractions on hold and place an intense focus on our task.

Try these techniques to develop an intense focus:

1. Remove distractions. You can’t focus if you’re constantly checking your email, Facebook, or other time-stealers! You’ll get more done if you allow your mind to get in the groove with some peace and quiet.

* Turn off your email, close your web browsers, shut off your phone off or forward it to voicemail, and put on headphones to avoid loud noises. You’ll be glad you did!

2. Remain committed. You know that you have something you should finish, but are you one hundred percent committed to seeing it through to completion? This is where you need to be honest with yourself.

* If you’re not fully committed to your task, you’re more likely to allow distractions to overtake your mind. More often than not, you’ll use distractions to create excuses and exceptions that try to justify your lack of focus.

* If you are committed, it will be easier to ignore distractions and keep your focus. This is something only you can decide.

3. Set a time limit. Even if the task itself doesn’t have a time limit, assign one anyway. If you have a deadline, you’ll be more apt to complete your task in a timely manner.

* Rather than giving in to the surrounding distractions, you’ll be competing against the clock to get things done on time.

4. Take frequent breaks. This may sound contradictory, but it actually makes a world of difference for the workaholic. If we work too long at one time, not only do we become physically tired, but our minds tire as well. This makes us more susceptible to distractions and shatters our concentration.

* Work intently for an hour and then allow yourself a 10-minute break. When you return from the break, you’ll be more focused, your mind will be clearer, and you’ll be more likely to work for another hour without losing focus.

* This strategy allows you to get more work done in a shorter time.

5. Use a list. Lists are wonderful tools that help you accomplish your work quicker and easier. Before beginning, write down everything you need to accomplish and then cross out each task as you complete it.

* The process of crossing things off your list is a great motivator to keep you working without distractions, plus it helps to build the momentum to get everything done.

6. Reward yourself for a job well done. When you’re able to stay focused on an important task, reward yourself! Just keep thinking about the big picture and your reward once you’re finished with the task at hand.

* This will keep you on target and you’ll finish as quickly as you possibly can. Everyone loves a treat for a job well done!

Remember, you’re human, too. Losing your focus is easy in an existence that’s filled with daily distractions and annoyances. However, you’ll find that you can keep an intense focus on something if you practice these techniques. Make them a habit and enjoy your rewards!

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