Why am I distracted from everything

Are you constantly distracted? With this technique you free yourself from it

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At no time in my life did I make so many phone calls and watch so many TV series as I did during exam preparation during my studies. And at no time did I check email, comments, and Facebook updates as often as when I was writing my first book.

Often I would have preferred to memorize the whole Internet than to look into the horrible grimace of the university script or the white sheet of paper, which was whispering V-e-r-s-a-g-e-n non-stop.

It is the big, the important goals that are most likely to be distracted.

Why do we procrastinate and distract ourselves? For fear that our expectations would not be met. Above all, the expectation that the task should be easy, quick and perfect for us.

Instead of facing the task, we evade it, turn to trivialities or pseudo productivity by doing familiar things that we have often done well, that do not give us any fear ... but also no progress.

However, if we let go of these exaggerated expectations, the fear can dissipate.

Here, too, letting go does not mean: getting rid of, pushing away. But first of all to perceive and accept our needs and motives.

If you find yourself getting distracted today, here's a little exercise you can try:

  1. "How does this distraction hurt me?" Also, be aware that the distraction will only help you for a few seconds or minutes at best.
  2. “Why do I feel the need to distract myself? Am I expecting too much from myself? "
  3. "How does this expectation feel?" Linger with this feeling until it goes away on its own. During this time, don't do anything else, just focus on the feeling. Is it moving? Where in the body do you perceive it? Don't judge it. When your mind wanders, gently redirect your focus back to the feeling.

Let it go until it lets go of you.

Do you feel how the nervousness, maybe the anger at the task or at yourself slowly melt away, together with the urge to distract yourself ... and a powerful calm spreads within you?

Get on with your task when the pressure or anger has passed. This can take a few minutes, and personally I don't always find it pleasant to face the feeling. But the alternative is more lost minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years of constant distraction.

Sometimes it is difficult to get back to productivity for the first time in the day or after a distraction.

What then helps me is a little trick: Do a little household chore, wash a few plates, make the bed, or tidy up your desk when you're in the office. Anything that brings visible success, a small first victory that gives you courage. It's a lot easier from there.

More under The Zen of the Beginning: How to finally tackle what you've been putting off for ages and in the myMONK book How to Let Go of Worries, Stress and Self-Doubt.

Photo: Working woman / Shutterstock

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