Staying Focused: Beating the Distractions

Staying Focused

I couldn’t get to sleep because of the nagging thought that kept rolling around in my head. 

“How could she say that?” 

My eyes popped open as I lay in my bed with my arms across my chest in my street lit bedroom. I was going to be busy that night. 

The only way I would get to sleep is if my brain were to wear itself out, like a hamster tiring of a spinning wheel. 

The next morning, as I rose to the new day, the seed that had been planted in my mind last night had germinated itself into a weed.

“Why would she do that?”

I had three Yoga classes to teach that day; Yoga Meditation, Aerial Yoga and Prenatal Yoga.

All the classes were new.  All in which I did not feel mentally capable to do in that moment.

Dreams of a substitute teacher swooping in to save the day danced through my mind. But I couldn’t, I love teaching yoga. I couldn’t let the potency of what was irking me control the rest of my day.

But I was distracted. 

So let’s go through the motions. Get up. Get your morning tea. “I should really tell her something and if I did it would be… no, not helpful, stop thinking about.” 

Ok I’m sipping my tea. Sipping. Sip-piiiing. (boom)

“Something has to be done, it’s not my place but — no girl, what do you have to do next?” 

I could not for the life of me see how this day was going to be a success. 

I started my ritual morning yoga poses, thoughts-a-swimming. I wasn’t even feeling the pose. 

Focus on the breath.

Incoming!!

“Someone needs to say something. Is it my job? No it isn’t. So why am I so distracted!”

Then it hit me.

I’m distracted. 

Holy smokes, yes, I am distracted!

This problem isn’t really a problem of mine. Nothing to do with me! 

No this problem was just a distraction. A distraction sent from the universe in fact.

What happened to make me distracted? 

I lost my focus. I forgot what my intention was, and for the record my intention is to spread joy and light and love. But here I was glomming onto a distraction, making it a part of my world. And what was that distraction telling me. I needed to focus. To lock into that focus.

That distraction was a reminder. Focus in, that distraction was telling me. Focus harder.

The moment we get distracted is the moment we have taken our eyes off our purpose, our focus, our intention. 

When I realized this, I not only didn’t resent this distraction, I welcomed it’s lesson.

Every time a thought popped into my head I told myself to focus on what you are doing at this present time, where you are at this present time. Lock into your focus.

It turned into a delightful little psychological game that made me realize I was strengthening my mind. My brain was ninja warrior-ing this playground of unnecessary thoughts.

All the worries, the anxieties and unnecessaries started to dissipate away and my mind felt clear, relaxed, zoned in.

I was ready to bring joy to my day and exchange pleasantries with anyone I encountered. And the lesson was taught to me. The universe had spoken.

This world is filled with so many distractions, the chiming of texts, swirling black whole of the internet, the ever so easy lie we say to ourselves “just one more episode” (I mean, Netflix you’re killing me). The list goes on, the day goes by and at the end of the day lie a bucket of regrets.

“I really wanted to take that jog today.” 😔

In a world full of distractions, how do we stay focused on achieving our day to day goals and overall dreams?

Are these distractions ruining our lives or are these distractions actually a gift. Life is not perfect and is not meant to be, so of course we are unintentionally side tracked by distractions.

Once we recognize the distraction and whatever it is that is weighing us down set it aside, pop it into a cloud and let it drift away, and then lock in on your focus.

Yes, it will try to creep back in but with practice these distractions will become less and less and you will have achieved a stronger mind as well as achieved your ultimate goals. 

In yoga we practice keeping our focus by creating a DRISHTI, gaze point.

 According to yogapedia 

“Drishti is a Sanskrit word meaning “sight” and refers to the gazing technique practiced while holding a yoga pose. It can also be used during meditation to improve focus and aid in sense withdrawal. Practicing drishti while performing yoga, supports and improves the practice while creating Self-awareness. It also makes breathing exercises and meditation more productive.”

You can also think of a dristhi as your focal point in life, your goals. And we often talk about drishti during a balance practice as it helps us stay longer in the pose.

As my good friend Dipak Desai said “the minute you fell out off your pose is the minute you took your eyes off your focus.”

What I’m telling you, my dears, is whatever it is that you want to do in the world, no matter how big or small, don’t let distractions take you away from the life you could be living. Lock onto your dreams. Stay focused.

YOU GOT THIS.

By the way, if you want to know what “she” said? It doesn’t matter, it was only a distraction, a gift from the universe to strengthen my mind.

Focus
How to Focus - Pin 02


33 thoughts on “Staying Focused: Beating the Distractions

  1. A very very good reminder of the way in which focus and paying attention to focus can enhance our day-to-day!

  2. Sadly I am a very easily distracted person. I’ll be doing something, then see something shiny…LOL These are some great tips on staying focused that I should probably try to use.

  3. I am not distracted in the sense of day-to-day chores. I can pay attention to a long time (I could study 12 hours with breaks before sleeping). But, sometimes I feel like I got distracted in my life goals. I had goals but just life got in the way, making me distracted. This I want a undistracted life.

  4. I’ve always found it helpful to focus on things that are true, honorable, commendable, pure, and lovely. Anything outside of that is surely a distraction. So glad you were able to recognize the distraction!

  5. There are so many distractions for sure. I know Netflix is also one of my hugest distractions. I’ll end up binge watching a show for hours and the whole day will pass me by. I try not to even turn it on when I know I have something I need to get done now.

  6. Remaining focussed has always been a struggle for me. My mind is always racing. I have tried mindfulness and yoga to help me. I am taking it one day at a time.

  7. It’s difficult to beat distractions especially for people like me who can’t focus without distractions, you know that I can’t function when I focus on just one thing because I easily get bored.

  8. I usually cannot sleep when I have something on my mind, I just keep spiraling until I give up and get out of bed. so annoying. I find writing or reading before bedtime helps settle my mind and spirit.

  9. This is such a great post and a great reminder for all us. Even though there’s a lot of distractions we still need to stay focus for us to attain our goal.

  10. Wow, so insightful – it’s so beautiful that you have this insight to recognise your distracted in the first place! It’s something I perpetually struggle with! x

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