2 Ways I Fight Distraction


a key to success is learning to focus on one thing at a time
Rein in the brain

I get distracted easily. Way too easily.

There are two practices that refocus my brain and heart:

1. Do the Next Simplest Action: This is especially helpful at work. I just pick up one piece of paper or open one email and do the very next action related to that piece of paper or email. Then I move on to the next one thing. I get traction, and then I’m off to the races.

2. Boil It All Down: This method works when my mind is wandering or when I’m generally confused about my priorities, whether at home or at work or anywhere. I remind myself what life boils down to. In my world, that means (a) faith, (b) care for my personal mental, spiritual, and physical health, (c) my wife, and (d) my children. Then I do the next thing that makes sense in light of those priorities.

I inject myself in as the second item on that list of priorities because if my physical, mental, or spiritual health is spiraling, I’m no good to anybody.

Note that I’m not talking about spending all day playing golf or the slots in Vegas or Cherokee (redneck Vegas). I’m talking about making sure I’m rested, eating well, spending time in prayer and with friends who encourage and challenge me, and learning.

That’s how I battle distractions or how I refocus myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

  • Do the next simplest thing.
  • Boil down your priorities.

Those two things work for me.

How about you? How do you bring your mind and heart back into focusing on the right things?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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  1. Hey bud! I get distracted all the time… I am reading and commenting on your post on the way to writing an email to the parents of the kids in my discipleship group while having my bible sitting here to read it after that. And then chapters of homework…

    Technology distracts me quite a bit. I try and just put it away, but it is so ingrained in much of what I (we) do, it is difficult. I do, however, find that routine is one good way to keep on track. The 2nd, for me, is that though I have never been the guy to write out a list and put it on my bathroom mirror so I HAVE to look at it several times a day – well, I did that too.

    Best to you sir,

    1. I agree on all points, sir! It’s tough to pull away from it completely. I constantly ask how I can decrease my digital footprint to remove certain access points. Mediocre results. And it is tough to bounce from one thing to another (I have 13 tabs on my browser now). I’ve found a few tools to help, but it’s a constant struggle to pull myself back into focus.

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