In 2009, Disney Pixar studios released a wondrous, awe-inspiring movie called “Up”. In this film, there was a scene where the dogs were chasing a rare bird but were easily distracted by the thought of seeing a squirrel. That scene transformed into a phenomenon across the country where saying squirrel became a means to distract someone or display that person’s ability to be distracted. It was funny and usually accurate. Should distractions be simply discounted as a part of our daily routine?
The Association for Psychological Science notes in a George Mason University study that:
“…interruptions don’t just take up time, they also degrade the overall quality of people’s
Seems harmless if your job doesn’t impact others quality of life, but who wants a distracted doctor? Pilot? Barber? Accountant? My guess would be that no one wants someone in those fields and others to be easily distracted. There must be something that they’re doing which allows them to focus for extended periods of time. Something more than breaks, coffee etc. a 2016 article from Science Daily says:
“The new research offers evidence that one’s motivation is just as important for sustained
attention to a task as is the ease with which the task is done. A report of the new study
appears in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.”
Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing-that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Distractions are normal because it is almost impossible to account for all the external and internal factors that can cause us to get off task. Staying on task can be a minute by minute battle. How can you put yourself in position to win this fight?
In the movie “Antz,” Danny Glover’s character tells Woody Allen’s character that the war strategy was numbers. Overwhelm the enemy. Overwhelm your distractions by practicing motivation daily, meditating on positive thoughts, and creating an atmosphere that limits potential distractions.
In some careers or households, that’s a difficult task and may require more preparation than what the average person has to endure. Don’t let the additional duties keep you from pressing towards your goal of high efficiency. Imagine your doctor giving in because it’s hard work. The pilot sitting back and doing nothing.
Your purpose is just as important as anyone else’s. If you have ever watched a squirrel, it spends its time gathering food, avoiding predators, and taking care of its family; a purpose-filled life. Learning about squirrels isn’t a bad idea, but when you have dreams to fulfill, goals to accomplish, and a purpose of your own, ignore the squirrel and press towards the mark of your high calling! Let’s go!