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The opposite of distraction is not focus, it’s traction

“The opposite of distraction is not focus, it’s traction.” From a podcast interview with Nir Eyal author of Indistractable.

I smiled at the sentiment because I get it. We are distracted. I am distracted. Not only by technology. Distraction is more covert, more insidious. Anything that is getting between us and what we said we were going to do is a distraction, no matter how noble the sidetrack.

The problem isn’t you. Well, it is you. And it’s me. And it’s our modern environment coupled with our predisposition to avoid pain. We scan the to-do list for the quick wins while the important projects slip to tomorrow. Or the day after. We answer the text instead of drafting the chapter.

Big work is painful. We have to think. We have to manifest brilliance. We have to take risks. We have to… [picks up phone, checks email].

Here’s my question to you: What do you want to make traction on? It could be anything. What is it? Pick a thing. Now imagine the feeling of finally making progress.

Here’s my follow up question: It’s a month from today and you have that feeling. What did you do to feel that way?

The unfortunate truth is that there is no end to distraction. It is limitless. So, if it’s truly what you want, how will you go about it?

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Decision Making | Productivity

Published on September 3, 2020

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