Three Distractions Killing Your Success

Do you want to be a better shooter, fighter, Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, weight lifter, etc.? Then stop wasting your time and use it more effectively. “Do nothing that is of no use – Musashi” This article is not a groundbreaking set of new ideas that will help you master yourself, but rather a kick in the butt reminder of a few things we already know. Quite likely by writing it, I am reminding myself as well.

I am not immune to these distractions any more than you are. They kill our success at a basic level. Each is systematically designed to suck you in. The good news is that each of them is avoidable to the extent you want to avoid them. These distractions are not inherently bad per se, but they suck your time up like an overpowered vacuum. The time that could be used doing something much more effective. In this article, I am going to give possible solutions to the know problems. A great leader once taught me to bring solutions if I wanted to inform them of the problems.

Information Overwhelm. This is the one that gets a bunch of my dedicated members. The good news about my online memberships is that there are numerous training programs that a person can follow, and hundreds of short, information-packed videos. The bad news is that there are numerous training programs that a person can follow, and hundreds of short, information-packed videos! I find myself getting questions from members that are already answered in the training program videos, had they simply watched them. The issue is we have been conditioned to jump from thing to thing with very little focus on what is in front of us. We are constantly distracted by the next shiny thing!

Take Youtube for example, which certainly is a great resource to watch and learn something you are interested in for free. The issue is once you click on the first video, it is VERY easy to get sucked into the next one or a suggested video that pops up. That is Youtube’s job….getting you to watch more videos! But we need to learn to focus on one thing at a time and be present when doing so if we really want to learn.

Solution/s:

  • Choose discipline. There is absolutely no way you will succeed unless you do. Every single thing that surrounds us in our current world is designed to distract you and attract your attention. Instead, pick what your focus is and FOCUS on that. You need to choose discipline if you want to succeed at the next suggestion.
  • Remind yourself that if everything is a priority, then nothing is. Whether you are one of my members logged in to the “vault” or on Youtube trying to learn the more about starting a garden, stick to that subject for the amount of time it takes to learn. Pick your path and follow it to a logical conclusion. I am not saying you have to focus one thing at a time, if you are trying to truly “master” something, I highly doubt you will be effective if you are focused on more than two to three primary skills.
  • Forget multi-tasking. It can’t be done effectively and was actually a computer term when it appeared on the scene. Instead, break out your time spent in a logical manner that works for you and that will allow you to be highly focused on whatever you are doing at that time.

Personally, I continually focus on three primary things outside my traditional work: Shooting skill development, Combatives (BJJ and Striking), and Fitness. I rotate my focus and increase the time spent on each as needed, so for example about six weeks out from a national championship (shooting) I am preparing for, I pair down my Combatives practice to very little and focus specifically on fitness-related training that will help that goal. After the shooting season is over, I decrease my firearm skills practice and dramatically increase my Combatives.

Social Media Distractions. Remember when social media was a new, and simple way to keep up with friends and family? Look around the gate area at an airport or any place where humans are stuck waiting for periods of time and tell me what you see? Nine out of ten will be on a smartphone/device, scrolling away. Most are being sucked into the Vortex of mind-numbing distractions that are being sent to our social feeds by an algorithm designed around our habits.

These algorithms decide exactly what you see, and what you don’t. There are no forms of social media immune to advertisers, every single one that started out as a pure source of social information from friends and family is now driven by computers designed to push an agenda. It is easy to forget how influenced we are by social media these days.

Social media (distractions) are the single biggest time vacuum humans currently face on a daily basis. We are literally addicted to “scrolling.” They are a complete and utter waste of our time in most cases. IF social media truly showed our family, friends, and the social network of information we chose to follow, it would not necessarily be a bad thing. But it doesn’t.

Solution/s:

  • Delete Social Media from your phone. Yes, I said it. I dare you. Unless you need it for business purposes ON YOUR PHONE then delete it. And I run two businesses online…and can get by just fine responding to my audience while I am in front of my work computer. Have a specific goal in mind you want to focus on? Stop scrolling social junk! Think about this…if you scroll social JUNK for 30 minutes a day and instead use that same time to dry fire (assuming you are in a place where you can) how much better do you think your manipulation skills will be? The answer: Dramatically better!
  • Read! Yes, a book. Every single sport or hobby that you might wish to learn more about has a book written about it. I read recently that because most adults are “scrolling” vs. reading, we are literally getting dumber. Have a hard time deciding what to read? Here are two good ones 🙂 YDHTP and YCHTP. I know, that was a shameless plug. But really, read and grow smarter. The smartest people I know read a bunch!
  • Review. Your training logbook/workbook. I have met very few top performers who do not keep some sort of training/workout log. If you don’t, you probably should. But when was the last time you reviewed yours? Speaking of a logbook or workbook, a plain ole school notebook is a great way to sit down while you have nothing else to do and write out future training sessions and plans. I have one (it’s blue) called my “idea notebook” where I capture my thoughts about future goals and training plans.
  • Recharge. In the sunlight. Why sit and scroll when you can walk around and get free Vitamin D? Seriously, if you have the opportunity, get out and walk instead of sitting there scrolling while you are waiting on your oil change. I have heard that a large majority of Americans are Vitamin D deficient…and we can help fix that with sunlight. Additionally, it burns a few of those unwanted calories and fresh air is healthy.

TV. Another perfectly designed distraction. Who hasn’t binge-watched the latest series on Netflix? The Yellowstone series is my jam, I literally LOVE that show. If you don’t watch it you should seriously check it out! Wait…am I recommending a TV show in a section where I am telling you not to watch TV? Maybe I am a bit conflicted?

But on a serious note, is there anything you wish you were better at? It’s not going to happen if you waste hours sitting in front of a TV. And by the way, want to reduce your anxiety and stress immediately? Stop watching the “news.” If there is such a thing as “news” anymore, which I doubt. Feel free to change my mind on this, but I can’t find a single good source of information that is not politically charged junk driven by the right or left (politics). My blood pressure goes up the second I scan the news feed on TV or smartphone.

Solution/s:

  • If you simply must have some news….find a local news source that keeps you somewhat informed of crime trends or happenings that you actually find useful. ELIMINATE all other news consumption.
  • Treat your favorite TV series/show as a reward for action. If you accomplish your action list (the things you need to do to get things done or guarantee your success) items, reward yourself with some enjoyment time in front of the TV. But limit it! If you allow yourself two to three hours per day, then you are telling me your goals are really not that important.
  • TV is fun but should be a reward, not a time vampire. Start now by shifting your time spent in front of the TV on something more productive. Start small and go from there. I promise you will reap the rewards.

This article is a blunt, and if it hits home, maybe you should invest some time in fixing your distractions. If you really want something, you have to work at it. And that takes the one thing we can not buy more of, time!

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Until Then – Train Hard!
Mike S.

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