Episode #139 Eliminate The Distractions

The average American checks their phone over 300 times per day – more often than every 5 minutes! This week, Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Shawn Cramer empathize with our addiction to distraction and describe the pathway to a life of focus and purpose.

Show Notes

I don’t think we should be multitasking. I want someone who does one task at a time, well… not ten tasks at a time over the course of an hour, subpar.
Dr. Michael Brown

Six Problems

  • We often reach the end of our day and wonder, “What did I even accomplish?”
  • We have been trained to believe the lie that doing just one thing at a time is both an overwhelming challenge and a sign of weakness.
  • We often choose our way into distractions and then convince ourselves that they are unfortunate and inevitable circumstances outside of our control.
  • We will never have a productive day so long as we immediately answer every notification that comes across our phone.
  • Email is like the sugar of our work life: it gives us a momentary rush of energy and pleasure that ultimately harms our wellbeing.
  • Every moment we spend wondering about the past or worrying about the future limits our ability to be present in our present tense.

Five Principles

  • There is no such thing as multitasking, and we are at our most effective when our attention is undivided and our focus uninterrupted.
  • We are not powerless in the presence of distractions; we always have the final word.
  • We will only achieve our most important goals if we learn to save little goals for later.
  • Proactive decisions made in advance are often more closely aligned with our goals than reactive decisions made in the moment.
  • It is not our fault if a bird lands on our head, but it is our choice if we allow it to build a nest there.

Eight Practices

  • Identify one task, project, or responsibility that is your highest priority for the week, and fight tooth and nail to protect the time devoted to it.
  • Spend the first and last 10 minutes of each day cultivating reflective practices rather than scrolling on your phone.
  • Schedule your most difficult tasks during those times when you have the most energy, focus, and clarity.
  • Set a timer on your phone at intervals throughout the day, and work undistracted without picking it up again until the timer goes off.
  • Turn off every notification that is not absolutely essential.
  • Take advantage of your phone’s Do Not Disturb feature during specified hours each day.
  • Unsubscribe from anything that doesn’t add consistent value to your life – even if that includes the DMB Coaching monthly newsletter.
  • Turn off all music and podcasts for at least 5 minutes of every commute, and drive completely alone in the quiet of your thoughts.