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Coach’s Playbook: “Too Many Distractions!”

coachs-playbook_EMAIL_redFor the past several weeks, we’ve been working through ways to overcome common excuses that can get in the way of your training. Most of our learners are training — in addition to working full time, meeting personal and family obligations and responsibilities, and more. As learners try to squeeze of these things in, one excuse we bump into a lot is that they just have too many distractions that prevent them from training.

Here are some tips to help overcome the distractions that are inevitable in our crazy, busy lives:

  1. Change your location. If you train at work, don’t stay at your desk! Find a conference room or an empty desk you can use. If you’re at your desk, people  expect that you are there to cater to their every work-related need. So get away from your desk. If you train outside of work, find a location where you can shut out the outside world. That might be a coffee shop where you can be anonymous, or it might be your home office where you can close the door. Find a place where you can remove yourself from the routine, day-to-day demands on your time.
  2. Close your email and turn off your phone. The temptation to just check your email “real quick” is sometimes overwhelming. So, shut down that temptation by closing your email. Turn off your phone so you don’t get texts or email notifications during the brief time you’ve set aside for training.
  3. Find a study buddy. Find someone who can train with you. Sometimes, the added accountability of having another person in the room, focused, and committed to training can increase your own focus, which reduces distractions. Your study buddy could be a spouse or partner studying something completely different than IT training, your kid working through his/her algebra homework, or a work colleague pursuing the same certification as you… just find someone who can help you stay focused.
  4. Focus! Having “too many distractions” is sometimes code for “I can’t focus!” And you’re among friends here… here’s the deal, most of us struggle to focus well on tasks at hand, whether it’s training or otherwise! So take some steps to improve your ability to focus. Consider using methods or tools such as Focus Booster or other apps to help you focus on your training. Keep in mind that you’re only training for 30 minutes, or an hour, or even two hours. You can do almost anything for that period of time. So focus.

“One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.”  – Daniel Goleman


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