I asked my wife, Tessa, what she thinks about when she thinks about distractions. This was her response:
My dog, my spouse, food, projects, nature, napping, anything online, exercise, stretch breaks, instant messaging, other people, to‐do lists, updating to‐do lists, adjusting things on my desk, chores, people coming and going, working on projects you don't care about … and all other imaginable things.
Yeah, that just about covers it—all imaginable things can become distractions. There is no limit to what can distract us, or how we can distract ourselves.
In their book Living Forward, authors Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy discuss “the drift,” a concept that embodies our innate tendency to drive ourselves off course (Hyatt and Harkavy 2016, 28).
We have one intention, but we do something else. We start with a plan, but it quickly dissolves. We want something to be true, but it never materializes. We begin working on something important, only to be distracted again and again … and again and again.
It is death by distraction.
We spend so much time in our lives dreaming about a better future and planning for a better life but rarely do we longingly dream about all of the interruptions that will inevitably stand in our way and throw a wrench in our carefully laid plans.
Distractions are the enemy—they are our nemesis and our greatest foe.
Free time is a wonderful thing, but even in our time off the clock we ...