4 steps to stay engaged & focused when you feel distracted

Do you ever start your days with a head full of plans and a to-do list, but during your day you lose focus, you get distracted, and you feel increasingly tired? 

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You have 15 screens open and you are just staring at them. You keep checking social media and your phone. Your mind is wandering off, and it just seems impossible to focus on a task, let alone finish it. This makes you feel incapable and frustrated, and you just want to be able to focus so you can finish what you’ve started. 

This happened to me often and it still does. Sometimes I start my day already feeling distracted, and I’m barely able to get anything done.

But what can you do if this happens? 

First of all, it’s important to realize that distraction is a sign, not something to ‘get over as soon as possible’. If you try to ‘get rid of’ anything it usually grows bigger. 

Distraction is a sign to stop what you’re doing, listen, acknowledge and reset. Don’t just walk over it and keep going, because that’s what we learn in our culture. And that’s how we get unhappy, frustrated and burned out. 

Fortunately there’s nothing a shot of fresh awareness can’t fix 😉 

These are 4 steps you can take whenever you notice this happening 🙂

1. Stop what you are doing & notice how you feel 

Walk away to find a private place, or close your eyes wherever you are.Take a few deep breaths. Feel your body, notice your feet on the ground. Notice any tension or stress in your body. Acknowledge how you feel in this moment, name it (I feel….), give it some focused attention. Otherwise this feeling will become like a small child having a temper tantrum until you are forced to listen. Maybe you can become aware of a need buried under the feeling. Acknowledge this need as well, don’t deny it’s there. 

You could write this down if it helps you. I really believe in journalling, I keep notebooks eveywhere. It helps me to stay aware of my inner process.

Use this 15 minute guided meditation to learn to stay present with your feelings, instead of unconsciously checking out 🙂 

2. Stop judging yourself & support yourself instead

Be ok with feeling this way, love and support yourself anyway, even if it’s inconvenient.Tell yourself: It’s ok. You are doing great! I believe in you! 

Usually we judge ourselves if we are not having a ‘perfect’ productive day or flow. This makes sense, because in our culture we learn to always be productive. Our self worth is strongly attached to our ability to produce and be active in this world. I used to feel like a failure when I lost my productivity and got distracted. The problem wasn’t the distraction, but me interpreting this as ‘failing’. 

You are worthy of love in any situation, your actions in this world have nothing to do with this. You are worthy of love just for being. That’s it. You don’t have to prove your worthiness to deserve love. 

3. Repeat the word release in your mind

The word release is like a message to your subconsciousness to release any tension or conflict inside of you. It’s the inner tension and conflict causing you to feel distracted and it makes it difficult to move forward. Release helps you to create the inner space to get back to your tasks and actions with increased clarity and motivation, instead of frustration and force. You can repeat the word release in your mind until you feel (some) relieve or experience more inner space. 

I learned this technique watching Marie Forleo’s interview with Brendon Burchard (you can find this on YouTube if you are curious). I love it, because it’s like hitting a reset button before you move on with your tasks and actions, and it works. 🙂

4. Set your intention for your next task or action

What’s your intention for your next action or task? How do you want to feel performing your next task or action and what’s the end result going to feel like? Intention is an extremely powerful tool to shift gears, to change your perspective on something. It’s a powerful transition in between tasks as well. For example, you could intent to feel powerful, loving and clearminded during the execution of the task, and to feel satisfied when you finish it. This really makes a big difference. 

Do you want to learn to stay connected and present, so you can live a more authentic and joyful life? Get started today with my free guide The essential practice to thrive as a sensitive and creative person. I explain why we get so disconnected from our true self and you'll get some practical steps to start (re)connecting, including a guided meditation. Click on the button to get instant access. 

Please feel free to share your experience with these 4 steps in the comment section below, so we can all learn from each other.  

Lots of love,
Marleen

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