If you’re anything like me, you’re often stressed out and exhausted. There are so many things you want to do, but just can’t find the energy, time or ability to get it done. It could be a new creative endeavor, a project on the house or starting that new workout routine.
You can sabotage yourself in all kinds of ways and it is stopping you from the process of moving forward into a life of passion and purpose. I know this firsthand.
You can stop your growth in big ways too: fear of failure, perfectionism and procrastination. You can do the same with small distractions like social media and your smart phone.
We’re gonna break down how you can get those obstacles out of the way and start moving forward.
Stopping Your Progress
I get snagged doing things I shouldn’t be doing, fighting unnecessary battles and chasing rabbit trails when my real goal is well within my reach if I could just focus on it.
Can you relate?
These diversions, distractions and methods of self-sabotage stop all momentum. You have a limited amount of focus and drive at any one time.
Our American culture says things like, “Give it 110%.”
The fact is, you’re limited to 100% of your focus, effort and 24 hours a day.
Every time something else enters your mind, your task list or you heart, it’s using a percentage of your focus. Even the act of mentally moving between tasks takes it’s own toll on your supply.
It’s simple math. If you have a handful of unnecessary things taking portions of your attention, you’re left with limited focus to give toward what you most want to accomplish. Giving attention away slows and even stops you from moving forward at all.
Finding These Distractions
These distractions and impeders-of-progress hide in plain sight. Most of the time, they’re masquerading as benign tasks or innocent time wasters.
For me, the majority of the time it comes down to two things: being a perfectionist and doing too much research. For you, it could be procrastination or fear of failure.
There are many other things stopping our progress too. In a lot of ways, the little things can be an even bigger block. The series of small compromises siphoning your focus can be death to progress, and you often aren’t aware it’s happening.
Distractions like Facebook, your iPhone or TV are keeping you from moving forward.
They’re so innocent: five minutes here, downtime swiping around on the iPhone or catching a new show on Netflix.
None of those things are necessarily bad, but if you let them, they do take you in a direction. The question is, Is it the direction you want to go? For me, they lead straight to relaxation, unclear thinking and lack of action.
If that’s you, you need to start paying attention to your actions daily.
What do you default to between tasks? How often do you pick up your phone? What do you spend your downtime doing?
Before you can eliminate, shift or transform the things stopping you from moving forward, you have to know what they are. Once you know, you can stop their sabotage on your life.
How I Stop Them
With a renewed perspective on focus, you can see these things attempting to halt your progress. Knowing what they are, how they operate and where they come from helps to avoid them altogether and get back on course.
To stop myself from being too much of a perfectionist, once I get to 80% complete, I start winding down and looking for the stopping point. When I feel the urge to keep going, I ask myself, Will this extra work be a direct benefit to my end result? If so, will that benefit be in proportion to the time and effort I’m putting in?
If not, I do my best not to spend the time on it.
On the research front, I write down my specific goal before starting so that the scope doesn’t creep. When faced with new research material, I ask myself Do I need to know this right now to accomplish my immediate goal?
If not, I stay away.
Reclaim Your Focus
My goal is passion and purpose, not average or mediocre. This is the place to get unstuck; to break out of the no-progress zone we keep ourselves in.
A great way to evaluate your day and what might be blocking your way is to log and record how you spend your time. Your phone can help you start that process for free.
Right now, if you have an iPhone, just open up Settings, then Battery. Scroll down to Battery Usage and touch the little clock icon. It will show you how much time you’ve spent in each app during the last 24 hours or 7 days.
With that new information in mind, leave a comment below and share, what’s one thing sabotaging you and how can you beat it?