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Each day, ignore the world until you've created something.
During the Covid-19 lockdown of last year, I watched an interview of a Nigerian billionaire businessman and CEO of Coscharis Group Mr Cosmas Maduka who I would say is one of the most disciplined people on earth, that's if he actually lives by the principles he stated on the interview.
The interviewer asked him how he got to where he is as a man and as a business owner and his response sounded simplistic at first. He just said he cut out distraction from his life and focused more on what really matters - his business.
The interviewer asked him to elaborate on that and he said he doesn't watch the news because there are no TVs in his house and neither does he own a smartphone. He says when he is itching to read the news, he buys a newspaper like it is done in the old days and that's it. According to him, there is nothing happening on the TV that would help him or his business in any way, and because of how addictive the Tv can be, you could spend the most productive periods of your days watching or waiting to watch your favourite TV program, wasting your time with news and getting unnecessarily agitated, engaged and stressed by what is being dished out in the media.
It is quite the irony that I stumbled upon this interview about cutting distractions and not watching TV while I was actually watching TV.
We live in an era of smart electronics, an era where learning how to stay focused is such a herculean task and mastering it is actually a superpower. You have smart TVs in your homes, Smart Wristwatches on your arms and Smartphones in your pocket and everything from entertainment to news to your bank is at the tip of your finger. You have all these things requesting, begging and coercing your attention every passing minute of the day.
You bring out your phone to text a friend about a certain job opening you came across, and the first thing you see are notifications from IG and Twitter. Apparently, you have gotten a lot of engagements on that HOT picture you posted on IG and your controversial Tweet had garnered a lot of traction on Twitter. You give out a cheeky smile and immediately tap on the IG icon, you get the validation you crave, get your ego massaged then you head over to Twitter to go pour some more fuel on the fire, sweet! Meanwhile, you had forgotten about that job opening you wanted to text your friend about. This is a typical example of how our time and attention are stolen from us daily.
Imagine what you would achieve if you block out distraction and stay focused on your goals.
I have come to understand that people who are the best minds in their various fields are usually geeks, who didn't have interests in mainstream entertainment(distraction) or were lucky enough not to have been exposed to it early in their lives, so they never imbibed the lifestyle and were never slaves to distraction. In other words, they are people who had just a few or a singular interest to focus on. Think about it.
How do I deal with Smart Distractions?
I was guilty of getting sidetracked and getting lost in time while scrolling through social media apps. My bane was Twitter and it gets worse when you have the app installed on your phone as against using the web. I had multiple niches and accounts I usually followed up on, Football, local news, motivational and money twitter but every now and then, celebrity gossip would pop up on my timeline. I comment on some, follow up on comments, banter and argue with other users, and I just wouldn't stop scrolling. I am convinced that these big social media companies have the world's top psychologists on their payroll because they seem to know how to work the human brain, get you hooked and turn you into a mindless zombie.
It wasn't until I stumbled upon this quote on motivational Twitter "each day, ignore the world until you've created something" that I realised the power of everyday distraction and how much of our time and attention are stolen daily. This quote actually inspired a positive change to how I manage my time now.
Since I work fulltime from home(Blogging & Crypto trading), it is tricky and sometimes difficult to feel that work vibe you get at the office. So what I do is, wake up, shower and head to my study/gym room, power my laptop and set up shop for the day. I brainstorm on what to write about, how to connect it to my everyday life and how to make it relatable.
I block out distractions by staying away from them, I don't touch my smartphone, nor watch TV until I am done with work for the day. What I did is, program my day towards a 9-5 system of work and since I don't have any social media account logged on my laptop, nor do I have any form of recreational videos or games on it, I stay totally focused on work until 4 pm. So there is no form of distraction as long as I am sitting at my desk.
Since I started doing this, I have become a lot more productive and the return on my time investment has been brilliant. I write at least 2 articles daily and post across all my crypto-based blogs and I earn at least $10 daily in Crypto assets and every day I am exploring new ways to make that $100 daily. I have learned to be a producer and not just a consumer, and to produce quality, I have to give it all my time and attention.