Distraction is a 4 letter word

Ever burn an entire day knowing exactly what you need to do but just not doing it? Because you can’t seem to get traction- spinning your wheels, searching for focus?

Distraction and Focus are the ying and yang of my life. I don’t mean low-level “my coworker coughs too loud” distraction. Not that. High level, head in the clouds, foggy… just… feel like I’m sleep walking kind of distraction.

And it comes in ebbs and flows. True focus is like a drug- weeks of kicking ass, feeling like I’m on top of the world, really making progress towards what’s most important, followed by withdrawal and what feels like eternity stuck inside of a rut of inaction and paralysis.

What I do when I feel like a loser

Being distracted makes me feel like a loser. Like I’m wasting my life, not creating value.

I whip out a sheet of paper and plan out my day in 30 minute blocks.

Yes this is tedious. Yes it works.

Easy wins. Think of it as the most gratifying todo-list in the world- never before would things like eat breakfast and take shower warrant their own checkbox.

Next, I work on creating something for me.

Write, make art, code, build something, whatever.

The feeling of creating is so powerful, so gratifying, that it’s exactly the ammo I need to defeat distraction. It creates momentum in me to do something great.

Doing “work” for your job doesn’t count. That’s bullshit work, not creating, making dollars for someone else.

It just takes a small win

I’ve been stuck this entire month, trying to escape from inaction. I haven’t done anything worth talking about- not an ounce of progress made. Afraid to do something. Mad at myself for doing nothing.

It starts with a small, single win. All you need is one- and it can be tiny. But they build on top of one another and eventually you create enough escape velocity to break out of the cycle and find focus.*

Tonight I worked on an oil painting. It’s not a big deal- an inconsequential event in my day. But it was exactly the small win I needed, the first domino for the inspiration I needed to write this post. And this post will inspire what I create next.

Everything you’ve done inspires now, and now will inspire your future.

*If you’re interested in tiny wins and tiny habits, I highly recommend the Tiny Habits course by BJ Fogg.