I like to think I’m like you. I’m human (this is assuming you’re not a bot) and I enjoy news, gossip and meandering down rabbit holes, essentially the bulk of what the internet is. Every now and then though I realize the time I’ve wasted. This article is my attempt to convince myself and then through your exposure, convince you to, how to stop distractions by willpower alone.
WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF NO DEADLINE YOU DON’T GET IT DONE
The reason why willpower is the focus here is because it’s extremely easy to rely upon apps and imposed restrictions to temporarily cure your fix. Your willpower though, the much more adaptable beast, is the one you need to take the reins of. If I have an app which tracks your activity, initially it might make an impact, but you can always turn it off.
If you have a smart TV, the ease of moving over to YouTube or Twitter or the like continues on. Distractions will be everpresent. It’s you that needs to change.
The simplest way I can advise to kick this off is to tell yourself how much time you’re wasting. Following that, equate it with a goal that would fulfill you more. “I’m spending an hour a day on social media/news websites/Youtube” – that becomes 7 hours a week. That’s a conservative estimate by the way. Nobody spends that little when indulging. It’s usually short bursts, but over the course of the day it could easily add up to two or three. Anyway, take that 7 hours per week and ponder what could be done with it. Could you get in shape? Could you start to learn a new language? Could you set it towards a creative or financial endeavour?
The power of habit intertwines very much with this, willpower is what starts your change, habit is what maintains it. If you enter a routine of repetition on anything, after enough time it becomes second nature.
I’ve become a big fan of Jocko Willink, a former navy seal who very much champions discipline. His famous quote, “Discipline equals freedom” couldn’t be more true. Once you actually have the factors in your life that you want controlled under control you can head clearly in the direction you wish to with the other hours in the day you have available. We all have the same time, it’s how you choose to use them. So stop distractions by willpower alone, you have the strength to. You have the strength to choose.