Are distractions undermining your financial life? Are daily events causing you to zig when you need to zag?
That rectangular shaped half pound of plastic in your pocket is likely responsible for many of the focus interruptions each day.
Distractions can seem innocent. Something pops up on the screen and for a split second your attention is redirected. The problem is this might occur dozens of times during a normal day, with each interruption breaking your focus.
Most of us know, instinctively and intuitively that distractions are harmful but we don’t know how to turn off the spigot.
Beware of the Attention Suckers
Professor Cal Newport, who teaches computer science at Georgetown University has authored a couple of books aimed directly at how to solve the addictive attention suckers that masquerade as time saving technology.
Professor Newport is something of an iconoclast, because as a millennial he has come face to face with the good and bad aspects of technology and the distractions they bring into our lives
His 2014 book Deep Work delves into the need to create mind space for thinking free of technology in order to be creative and grow.
His most recent book, Digital Minimalism strikes even closer to the heart of the problem. The sub-title of this book is “choosing a focused life in a noisy world.”
When Distractions Take Over
We often talk about the noisy financial markets in this space. All the sounds and daily gyrations in the markets amplify anxiety for investors lacking a clear long-term philosophy.
Of course, distractions aren’t just a problem within the financial realm. According to the NHTSA, 23,000 deaths can be traced directly to distracted driving over the past 7 years. The leading cause of these accidents is “getting lost in thought” and the second leading cause is texting.
Distractions can have a gravitational pull. That’s why maintaining a focus on your particular goals has to stay sharp in order to make meaningful progress.
The first step on the road to solving problems is to find or create a quiet space free of noisy distractions. Start there. Ready for a real conversation?