HOW YOU CAN MAKE DISTRACTIONS WORK FOR YOU?
“I need distractions. Good distractions, not bad ones. A good distraction for me is a great play.” ~ Danny Aiello
Something is only a distraction if you allow it to be. Of course some distracters are so amplified that it could take years of meditative and mindfulness training to ignore them. On the other hand, there are those distracters that actually allow us to retreat, renew, restore, rejuvenate.
If you’re going to allow something as a distracter from your focus, make sure you’re getting something out of it. That’s what many would call a “positive distraction”. Something that is a retreat (providing renewal/restoration/rejuvenation) rather than merely an escape to a mental/emotional/physical hiding place. The MORE things that you’ve been thinking about that you want in your life could be exactly this. For example, you might say, “I want MORE out of my life because I feel like I’m working and living in a repetitive cycle that brings little reward.”
Let’s look at the idea of a reward. What does it mean to you? Likely, it has multiple meanings depending on the type of situation that you may be thinking of. It can be a number of things….something tangible, or something intangible like a feeling, or an experience. So when you feel trapped in a monotonous cycle, rewards seem nonexistent. But what if your retreat from the mundane was your reward? You know you have to complete the cycle for a number of reasons: income, responsibility, priority, others depending on you, training, experience,….…SURVIVAL. So now you implement your positive distraction into your mundane routine.
Can you find reward in positive distractions? I propose that you can! What if you started your day differently? What if you took breaks in your day differently? What if you took your lunch hour differently? What if you ended your day (at home, at work, or wherever) differently? By differently, I mean using a “positive distraction”. This should be something that allows retreat and/or provides a benefit and thus can be framed as a reward. A reward simply for going about your day as you are expected or required to do.
In order to implement your “positive distraction” into your mundane routine, here are some questions to help you:
What time of the day do you find yourself dreading your routine or tasks?
Could you make time for a positive distraction near that dread time?
(Ex: This could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 minutes or more)
If I need to make time for my positive distraction, what do I need to do? (Ex: Wake up earlier, take breaks during my day, give up other activities in the evening)
In order to identify a rewarding/beneficial distracter, think about some things I’ve been wanting/needing to do that will give me something in return.
In other words, what can I take away from my positive distraction? (Ex: small bits of time towards a personal project, reading/research on a topic of interest, renewal/restoration/rejuvenation, more energy, etc…..)
When you have implemented one or more positive distractions into your routine, after a few weeks, reflect on how your attitude and (hopefully) life may have changed. And keep in mind that you may have to revise and adjust your “positive distraction” from time to time to keep it working for you. I urge you to find your “positive distraction” and make it work for you in getting MORE.