If You're Serious About Reaching Your Goals, Do This.

Do you have some lofty goals set for 2020?  I know I do.  Right now I'm full of optimism 'cause the new year just started and there's plenty of possibilities ahead.   Even with a ripe new year before me, I still know that unless I make some changes from last year, I run the risk of not achieving my desires.

This morning, I asked myself a simple question.  "If there's one thing I need to change in order to reach all of my goals, what would that be."

The answer came back quickly.

As soon as I "heard" it, I knew that this was the single most important key to my success.

To put it bluntly, the only way to achieve most of my goals is to manage or eliminate that which distracts me from achieving them.

Distractions serve a sole purpose. They create a diversion that takes our attention/focus from the main objective.    I watched a lot of cartoons as a child.  Most of them would have a theme where the protagonist would use "create a distraction" as a powerful ploy to destroy the plans of the bad guy.

For us, it's the same.  There's something we want to accomplish, but a slew of distractions immediately pop up that place our attention elsewhere.  Distractions are the absolute worse thing for our productivity because:

--They turn a simple task into something that takes 2-3x longer to complete.
--Distractions turn our attention to other focuses which leaves a lot of our work unfinished.
--They almost always serve as an obstacle that stops us from reaching our goals.

Eliminating any and all distractions should be our #1 priority.  This requires a lot of self-management.  For instance, I work with a lot of tabs open on my browser.  All those open tabs are potential distractions. Whenever I sense a small amount of writer's block,  I just jump over to a bunch of other sites and allow time to waste.   If I'm not toggling between tabs, I'm picking up my phone to scroll through social media.  Eventually, I get back on track, but I invest a lot of will-power in trying to get back on the task at hand.

When I worked in an office environment, I found myself falling behind on work because of all the constant distractions.  As an HR manager, I'd often receive unexpected visits to my office because of an emergency situation or someone had a random question or people coming by just to say hi.  As I got further behind on my work, my anxiety grew.

Eventually, I got to my breaking point and established a new routine that changed everything.

Basically, I entered all of my tasks, projects, meetings into my calendar.  I even blocked off time to work on administrative tasks that were piled up.  Once the calendar was planned for the day, I would print it (single day view) and place it on my desk.  I then proceeded to remove every other thing from my desk that could serve as a distraction.  The only thing allowed on my desk was my plan for the day and documents related to what I was working on at the moment.  My phone was put away.  I'd often play an audiobook to keep my mind focused on the subject at hand.  Sometimes, I would shut my office door for really intense tasks to keep visitors at bay.

The results of this new daily schedule exceeded expectations.  Instead of having to stay late or come in early to catch up, I would be done with my to-do list by 2 or 3pm.  All of the backlogged work that was causing me anxiety was gone! Instead of having to work through lunch to catch up, I had an hour of free time that I dedicated to my journey to entrepreneurship.

Fast forward to today. I have a million tabs open and my digital gadgets right next to me. This is an open invitation for distraction to add chaos to my day.  I don't even have my daily plan written down which is a huge potential risk.  Without a written plan, it's like playing Russian Roulette with my day. 

Back then, my sole objective was to remove any and all distractions from my path and I accomplished so much.  Once that stopped, I wasn't experiencing as many ultra-productive days.  Now that I work for myself, the distractions aren't external.  They're self-imposed.  My mind is constantly sending triggers to check my phone, or respond to this alert, or whatever.

 It's non-stop.

When I implement a"no-distraction" approach to my workday, something wonderful happens. Not only do I accomplish nearly everything on my list, I also strengthen my ability to focus.  Developing a laser-like focus doesn't happen overnight.  It happens as we eliminate distractions and place our attention solely on the task at hand.   If this happens on a daily basis, our level of focus greatly enhances.

As your focus grows, your ability to accomplish your goals improves drastically.  I once listened to a book written by a serial inventor with a multi seven-figure net worth.  The topic of the book was about licensing your product idea to big companies.   Most of the content was dry and forgettable. But he said one thing that I'll always remember.  He talked about how people often ask him how he was able to invent so many winning products.  His advice was to sharpen our level of focus.  He believed our inability to focus on tasks/projects/intentions was our greatest obstacle and the main reason why we don't accomplish in a powerful way.

It's time to experiment!

 This week, let's put tremendous effort into eliminating obvious distractions.  Let's put our phones away and say no to all distractions so we can aggressively tackle our to-do list.  Let's see what happens when we place our sole, unwavering focus on accomplishing the objective at hand.


  1. I am really excited about this article because this is something I struggle with like anyone else. I am going to start a 1 week experiment beginning tomorrow 01/10/2020 and I will check back in here in the comments section 01/10/2020 to let you know (and anyone that's interested) what I've accomplished. XO, see you soon.

  2. There are a few websites that will block your distracting websites for a certain amount of time or at a certain time, so all you can do is your task. I think there's the same thing for your phone too, but, these are the websites. I had only heard of Freedom before today. https://freedom.to/blog/8-website-blockers-for-studying-productivity-focus/


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