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Discoveries In the Blink of an Eye

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How Distractions Derail Development – and Help it

Going on Facebook to post a comment to help someone in the iCreateDaily Facebook group, I got distracted. That’s never happened to you, right? ? In that blink of an eye moment, three things happened that led to this post.

Audio Article – In the Blink of An Eye:

I generally don’t pay attention to the sidebar notifications and scrolling ads. That’s called “ad blindness”. Overall I’m pretty good about not succumbing to distractions. There’s always room for improvement, but my productivity took a leap forward when I starting using the Toggl time tracking app.

This is not a commercial for Toggl. They don’t even have an affiliate program last we checked. It’s just a momentary shoutout and relevant sharing on a helpful productivity tool. If you’ve ever tracked the foods you eat, you know how writing everything down causes you to pause before popping something into your mouth.

Same thing for your time and choices you make throughout the day. So that plus our 90 Day Goals Journal are our top productivity tools. You can get a free 30 day goals planner PDF download here.

Tracking your time helps you stay on track and accountable to your goals.

Distractions do more than derail you from achieving your goals. They interrupt the development of thought.
~LeAura Alderson,


The Sidebar Distraction

As I was writing, I paused to explore an idea that popped into my mind related to what I was working on. You know what typically happens when people think—they tend to look off to the right or left. So as my eyes looked off to the right, some beautiful colors and art caught my eye. It was the banner of a Facebook Group under ‘Recommended Groups’.

There are three discoveries in that blink-of-an-eye moment, that led to more to share here. These discoveries are completely contradictory. Yet… yet, many things in life can be that way. You know… glass half empty or half full kind of thing; complete opposites of the same thing.


1. How Distractions Derail Development

Distractions not only prevent you from doing your work, they prevent you from becoming better acquainted with it… and with yourself.

Distractions are the children of your mind. Relegate their antics to the backseat of your day.
~LeAura Alderson,

What happened in those few “blink” seconds is this:

When I turned my gaze to think, I got distracted by the lovely visuals. It was very brief… perhaps only for 10 seconds. I didn’t even click on what caught my attention, or anything else. But when I returned to my task, that ephemeral thought I had paused to think on, had vanished.

I still do not remember it. A thought wafted into my consciousness like a package floating to earth on a balloon… waiting to be unwrapped, discovered and explored. That moment of distraction derailed the opportunity to discover the mystery in that gift… to go deeper and reveal the message in the moment.

The distraction derailed the deep dive into discovery. The stretching of the mental fibers and building of new connections.

The butterfly on the image below has a large circle marking that adds beauty to its appearance. That circle is designed by nature to appear to be a large eye, which adds a measure of protection from predators. That beauty mark may save the butterfly while the predator is thwarted by a distraction that isn’t real.

The distracted mind does not develop the habit of deep thinking.
~LeAura Alderson,

Awareness Leads to Prevention

Notice your patterns when you’re supposed to be doing focused work. Notice what you do when you have a deep dive project that’s going to take a lot of your time, energy and focus. Observe your patterns in those moments.

3 Reasons Distractions Derail You

  • NO GOAL: When there’s no goal in to aim for you’re easily pulled off course.
  • UNINSPIRED: If you don’t like the work/job/task at hand, you’ll unconsciously seek distractions. We tend to immerse in what we love.
  • UNPRACTICED: The deep dive to move beyond the surface is just a matter of developing mental muscle through exercising the mind muscle through practice..

When you find yourself distracted and off course, consider which of these are the most contributive. Knowing the cause, helps to have the remedy at hand.

It is in deep thinking that we discover the diamonds in depths unknown.
~LeAura Alderson,


2. How Distractions Can Help Development

On the one hand, the distraction derailed the development of the thought I wanted to expand on. That inspired idea evaporated like mist at dawn. However, with that loss came an opening. There was a moment of open space that allowed two other thoughts to rush in.

In that blink of an eye moment, three things happened:

  1. I lost the thought that I paused to reflect on.
  2. That fact and process precipitated more thoughts that led to this article.
  3. The awareness of what led to the distraction provided market data on what grabs attention on the sidebar.  ?

This is not at all a recommendation to seek out distractions. We live in the age of distractions and they are inevitable. However…

You can reduce the extent to which your consciousness is pulled off course by practicing awareness and focusing on purpose.

The practice of keeping on course will strengthen your ability to accomplish your dreams. Focus is simply a muscle that grows stronger and better with daily exercise.

Consciousness awaits ever ready to weave the wonders of the moment into the tapestry of purpose.
~LeAura Alderson,


3. Marketing with Color and Flare

If you’re building your brand, remember to use color and flare in the creation of your headers. Everything you put out there… every post, has the opportunity of being shared, and use of color and your artistic nuance will go far toward captivating eyes.

Even if you’re not a visual artists, using good design can go a long way to attracting people to your brand. That’s what grabbed my attention… an artistic, well designed Facebook Group banner.

In that “blink” moment where one thought was lost, two others immediately took its place. So if distractions derail you from what you intended, the more aware and watchful you become of these lapses, the shorter they will be. Then you can also discover whatever is there to be found, that informs and expands your consciousness about yourself.  Then return to your journey.

Use your lapses in focus as moments of space to dream and muse… let them be a rest stop along your way… a drink of water for your thirsty brain. Then get back to the journey of your day.

Purpose is a journey, not an arrival.Purpose is the horizon of life.
~LeAura Alderson,

The book Blink by one of our favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, is excellent and provides another intriguing angle to this topic.

Lessons Along the Way

We’re not recommending that you seek out distractions for creativity. We all have more than enough distractions dropping onto our desk daily as it is. But what we are saying is to…

Fill each moment with purpose.

If you find yourself down a back alley from purpose, be open to discoveries. Sometimes the back alleys inform the way.
~LeAura Alderson,

The more focus you bring to each thing that you do, the more purpose you bring. The more purpose you pour into your doing, the more you will enjoy what you do. The more joy you experience, the easier it becomes to focus… and to get right back on track, in spite of distractions that derail.

This blink of an eye distraction turned into (approximately):

  • 1 article
  • 2 emails
  • 9 memes
  • 36 social posts

Step out of the haze of quiescence, into a blaze of consciousness propelled by purpose.
~LeAura Alderson,

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