Before I started this personal challenge, I knew there were a few things I needed to get control of in my life. In particular, finding focus: I needed to find a solid way to keep focused on my daily tasks.
I stray quite easily. I’m a total sucker for jumping down rabbit holes. Are rabbit holes really that deep? Is that a reference to Alice in Wonderland? What other analogy would be just as fitting and not as trope? Is trope the right word? Nope, stick with cliche.
That paragraph is what goes through my mind for everything. Seriously, everything! I hear a word or a phrase and wonder how it began, so I hit the search engines and start digging. Then I think of something else and tunnel off in another direction. Unfortunately, I’m not a seasoned miner. I don’t know how to build support beams as I go from one tunnel to the next and eventually I get trapped in a cave in. By the time I dig out, I’ve burnt up my brain and can no longer focus on the initial task that led me down the hole in the first place.
Despite getting easily distracted, I’m pretty good at letting go of most distractions. The game of Solitaire calling to me? Delete the game from my computer. Angry Birds sucking my attention, delete the app from my phone (I no longer have games on my phone or my computer).
I decided before I begin this 28-Day Personal Challenge, I’d better get rid of things that led me astray. The one that has made a bigger difference than I could have ever imagined was……(drum roll)….
I began January by unsubscribing from emails each day. Old Navy, love your deals, but I can spend a few hours looking at clothes and then I get overwhelmed and leave before purchasing. Two hours are gone because one email promised a great deal.
Good-bye Sephora, so-long HGTV, hasta la vista Zillow, I have an agenda this year and dreaming about products I can’t afford won’t help me complete that plan.
I don’t dread emails anymore and I can even read them after my morning routine without getting waylaid.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy letting go. Some emails I refuse to change my subscription status on, I love the ones with all the writing tips I receive. And I love a good deal. But the shopping ones really suck me in because there’s always a recommendation for a similar product that I have to check out. With writing tips, I read the email and get out. If I have to click a link to read more, well. I can no longer do that. Too many distractions.
Give it a try and see how much time you save
If you’ve decided to take your own 28-Day Personal Challenge, then I highly recommend unsubscribing from all the extraneous emails. Don’t worry, you can still visit the physical stores or pop over to the website as a treat for accomplishing your day’s task list.
A word of warning. You can unsubscribe from some emails, but you will continue to receive them. There are some companies that won’t remove your email, move them to spam if that happens. Some companies have multiple email lists and you have to unsubscribe from each list. Pain in the patoot, but totally worth it.
Finally, there are some companies you have to unsubscribe from three or four times before they remove your email. Stick with it. Get rid of the emails.
What pulls your focus from your tasks at hand? What have you done to stay on task?