Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Hi Faith.

Faith

Hi Lois. It’s so – I don’t know – it’s exciting to be here today.

Lois                         

Yes. And it’s been an inspiring week with all of our words has been, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to numerous times literally stop the words like in my mouth behind my tongue teeth and just hold them in there and wait for the right things to say. And I understood my pausing as being there for a reason, but I just wanted to think it through a little bit better. And it was awkward at times, but I was trying to practice what we were working on last week with the power of our words.

Faith                    

Yeah, practice makes perfect.

Lois                        

Well, because I know that we have all been impacted by what other people say to us and instead we’re trying to flip it and say, well, what are you saying to the other person? Right. So anyway, it’s not easy. And I tried as big week for me because no problem is one of my big things. If somebody texts me and running late, oh no problem. When I was challenged last week, well what if you just said, oh, it’ll be great to see you when you do come. Oh, what a different shift that would make instead of no problem. So anyway, I’m working on that still. So if you would like to share this podcast, we would really like you to do that on whatever platform you’re listening to us on because it means a lot and rate it. If you would go through and just every now and then just give us a, a five star rating of course. But anyway, but if you were to do that, that would be really helpful. And also our newsletter, which is on our website, you can go there anytime you want. You can sign up for our newsletter, you can watch our videos, you can read our blogs and you can listen to our podcasts. You know, there’s so many things that steer us away from what we want to be doing in our lives. That’s why we knew at some point we would have to encounter this next podcast, which is Episode 77. Transition: The Impact of Distraction.

Faith                     

Boy do we get distracted in life. There’s so many things that can take us away and redirect our purpose and what we were intending to do and we want to touch on that. And there’s the negative context that oftentimes that comes to mind with distraction. But there’s also the positive and we’re going to step into that as well.

Lois                       

We really are. Because you know, distraction is that thing that prevents you from giving full attention to that other thing that you think is more important. And sometimes as we weigh these, we might discover that the other thing may not have been more important, but that’s for you to discover. Distraction. Like taking that extra time to text at a stoplight. Of course, no place else, and somebody honks behind you because they’re ready to move on and you haven’t gotten there yet. Or on the flip side like I did recently, I offered taffy to my grandson who’s kite had gotten stuck in a tree. And he was so distraught, but the taffy, because it was the right flavor, got him removed from the focus of how sad he was with the kite. And we could then think of another course of action and someplace else to play.

Faith                     

That was really good. Always carry taffy.

Lois                       

Well, I mean it’s just that sometimes we need to divert because we need to and other times the distraction takes us off and we don’t get done what we want to do. So it’s trying to decide what is the more important thing to be doing at this time in our lives. So Faith, how do you look at distractions when they come into your life? Occasionally or all the time?

Faith                   

Growing up I actually thought I was the distraction. I thought that was my middle name or something cause my mom would always just grab her head and go, you drive me to the point of distraction. And so I went, Huh, that must be me. Um, what is a distraction? And that was her phrase. So I had to work through that in therapy actually. But bless her heart. That’s kind of the point of frustration that we feel when we hear that word, that somehow there is something that is interfering, something that is causing a problem. And the reality is that distractions can be a detour for me. I can easily be distracted when, oh look at this Facebook thing, this is so cute. I want to watch it and I’m in the middle of doing something and I don’t have time for this. I usually end up watching it because I want to. But that’s the choice that you begin to step into of what has taken me away from what I really need to complete. And what is it that I’m finding something that I need right now? And sometimes we do need a distraction and sometimes we need to put the distraction aside for a little while and finish what we’re doing and then come back to it.

Lois                       

So we want to look at it from both sides. And I’m going to defend distractions mainly because, you know, I just had so many children and I had to have distractions. So did you, um, distractions where my, I just had to walk around with things so that when they got disappointed, you know, certain things they have to understand disappointments in life. I get it. That happens. But at other times it’s really better to not have them dwell. And this is going to be a dramatic story that I’m going to share with you, but this was one thing when I realized how important it is to be able to divert attention. We were coming back from walking our dog sparky, and this was a long time ago, like 22 years ago, with our boys. And our middle son was not even five years old and we were coming down the hill and he noticed something up on our neighbor’s porch. And so we looked up and I could see that it wasn’t good. And so I had him and his father and his brothers go on and I recommended to his father that he make them a big breakfast. It was a weekend morning. And as I went up there, thankfully he had noticed it was a neighbor and she had collapsed and unfortunately police had to come and it was a homicide investigation. So my son saw it enough to notify us, but it would have been a very bad situation to bring a five year old up to discover what it was that he saw. And so by distracting him and getting him away and him not having to know that that was a piece of his life – and his father and his brothers could deal with whatever they needed to deal with at that moment, which was breakfast. I could sit and deal with the police and have an adult conversation and try to figure out what this tragedy was all about. But I think sometimes we don’t see that. And so a distraction happens and we jump into it. You know, like a train wreck when we see an accident on the side of the road and our kids are looking at some horrible thing. Instead of distracting and saying, no, you don’t have to look at that. I think that’s important sometimes because we don’t know how their minds are being molded and shaped. And to this day he doesn’t know what happened. And I think that that’s beautiful.

Faith                    

That is, that’s wonderful. That’s, that’s protection. And the distraction to redirect is such a gift in situations. So yes, oftentimes it is about redirecting and using the distraction for that purpose so that it can be for the betterment of the person or the situation that you’re in. And then there’s other times where you do have to deal with it.

Lois                      

That’s right. Because sometimes distractions are detrimental to us if they actually stop us from doing what we want to do and to live our lives to their fullest potential because we constantly, we never finished. We just go here and we stop two steps forward and three steps back and do all of that. So today we’d like to explore distractions and their impact and what we can all do about them. And you know, what distracts you the most? In other words, what takes you away from what you want to do? And the first thing that I jump back to every single time we think about distractions is this beautiful thing that you’ve brought up and we talk about it so frequently is to scan our bodies. Because sometimes I’m distracted because I’m just not all here. I haven’t gotten enough sleep, I haven’t eaten, I’m emotionally upset about something. And so therefore everything is my oyster, the world because I’m not grounded in that moment.

Faith                   

Exactly. And the distractions become increasingly more powerful because we aren’t aligned with ourselves and we are not aware of what is going on. And so if you’re feeling really sad and you’re trying to move into something to ignore that, you’re not dealing with what’s really inside. And that’s gonna play out. So then pretty soon the situation, the business meaning that you’re in becomes heavy and you can’t think straight. And so then the distraction is, I think I’ll have two donuts. You know, I will. I think I’ll have another cup of coffee on now. It just beginning to compound into your day about the things that we’re using, the distractions to try to help ourselves feel better. And rather than dealing with what is really going on.

Lois                      

And that’s why really on a regular basis be scanning yourself. Cause some of these important meetings, it might actually be better to put them off rather than to be inside a meeting where you know you can’t make a cogent decision because you’re not able to exactly. You’re hungry, right? Or something else is going on. And I think that, I forget that at times. And then I blame the distraction versus the fact that I just wasn’t prepared. Right. I’m not ready. I can’t do this thing. And it wasn’t the distraction that pulled me away. It was actually myself and my state of being at that moment.

Faith                     

And if it’s urgent and you do have to go into the meeting, at least be so self aware that you can say, oh this is what’s really going on with me. I do need to go in there, but here’s what I promise myself. As soon as I’m done with that meeting, I’m going to go take a break and deal with this. Now, you know you’re going to come back to it and now you can kind of tell your brain, okay, brain, come on, pop in. I need you right now. We got to do this meeting. We can’t cancel it, but I am going to come back to dealing with what I need. I’m going to go have that big lunch right afterwards. I’m going to do whatever I need or go take a nap and take the rest of the day off or something.

Lois                       

Well, this all stems back to mental awareness. Yes, being aware and awake to what’s going on in your life and I think that is one of the things we are calling ourselves to and challenging everybody with whom we speak in our podcasts because this transition, the impact of distraction, is really about being mentally aware of where you are in this moment. Are you awake to what’s going on?

Faith                     

Yes, and when you are, there’s a flow that happens. There’s a connection that happens with yourself and with those around you, there’s a clarity of mind. Your inspiration rises, your imagination, your visions rise to the surface to where you can actually step in and make a difference. And that’s where we love to be. We love to be in that space, but we tend to minimize or negate or shove aside or ignore or bury even, I don’t want to deal with this, the things that are turbulent inside of us. And that’s not healthy, it’s going to come out sideways whether we like it or not. And so yes, it’s so important to be mindful and to have that awareness of what is going on and then respond to ourselves with kindness.

Lois                       

And have you scheduled your day? You know, some days most of us have a, you know, routine and things we have to do and people we have to meet and clients we have to see. But we leave some days bigger wiggle room places than others. And that can often be the moment when the distraction comes in. And maybe you forgot to write in a very important meeting that you had that afternoon. I’ve gotten into the habit every morning of going over my schedule once again, just to double check. Maybe I forgot to enter something in my agenda for the day so that I don’t miss an appointment that I wanted to have because that’s how I get distracted. If I don’t have my scheduled day laid out in front of me. I will allow other things to come in that will take me away. Oh yeah. From what I want and need to do.

Faith                   

Your flower garden. Yes. You’d be there a lot more time if you could. That’s a huge distraction this time of year. Yeah. Yeah. If you see something, you know, there’s some weeds, I want to pull them up. That’s the distraction that can, it’s important and it has meaning and you like it and that’s all good. But yeah, having that schedule can really keep you focused.

Lois                       

Using your time well, so if there is no time to get those weeds on that day, to know that you can do it all on another day. Because sometimes we fill ourselves with so much busy ness that we don’t say I could do. All of that on x day, right? Instead of trying to piece out a day and get yourself so frantic, I have gotten much better about compartmentalizing certain areas so that I don’t get distracted and I will get those done on that day, but I will leave it until another time to do it when my mental faculties are all there and nothing can get in the way. If you try to spread yourself too thin, very single day, there’s a really good chance that you just, you won’t get it done.

Faith                    

Well, you’re depleted and there’s so many things we need to let go. I will tell some clients that really are focused on getting everything done. I’ll say, you know, make a list of the things that you need to do and then pick your one, two, three top priority things and when you do the one, two, three, cross them out. If you have time to do the next three, four and five, you bring that up to the first top, one, two, three. Now if you have time to do those, bring it back up, bring that up to the priority top and then if you can do them, cross it out. And if there’s things that are left at the end of the day, look at all you’ve done. You’ve done a lot already. We need, I think the affirmation to see I have done something today rather than saying I didn’t get anything done. Yeah, because we are, we’re getting things done. We just don’t always recognize it.

Lois                      

That’s so true. And be aware. We’ve always had distractions. I mean your mother called you a distraction, let’s face it, Faith and we’ve had have things that are going on in our lives. But in today’s world and what we have to deal with, like when we have to do our podcast, we have to put away all of our other digital materials so that we’re not distracted enough to answer a pain or to look at a text. And I think sometimes we forget that we’re in the middle of our workday. Even when we’re with clients, even when we’re doing whatever we’re doing, that we have this in the back of our head that we have to respond or we have to engage and we don’t. When we aren’t dedicated to what we have in front of us then we allow these digital distractions to come in and they are everywhere.

Faith                   

They are everywhere where there’s a wonderful little thing on the bottom of your phone where you can push that little button that says in a meeting or I’m unavailable right now, I’ll call you back, use it, use it. Even if you’re, you could pick up the call, use it because sometimes you just need that space to say, how is that going to impact what my focus is right now?

Lois                      

Right. And if you have to write something, if you have to write a letter or if you have to write a book or if you write a blog, you know you get going and writing and suddenly all these notifications come in and somebody has done something here and then you feel like you need to respond, find ways and you can, we all know this, to mute those notifications to make sure that you’re not in a place where that will take you away. And it comes back to are you dedicated to doing what you want to do? And that’s something that only you can decide for yourself, right? Because as you said before, sometimes redirection happens with a healthy distraction and sometimes we need a healthy distraction to give us a new perspective on something. But if every time we’re trying to do something, we get taken off course, we will feel frustrated.

Faith                   

Because we’re not on that course of what we set out to do. And then that’s where frustration comes in. So redirection at times is perfect. We need that. Other times we need to really stay focused and on task and stay on that path until we feel like there’s a conclusion.

Lois                        

And also think about how other people know that you work. We live now as well, for those of us who are self employed, with many different kinds of bosses, they are in different places because they’re in the form of a client or they’re informed of the company or their form of a class and so it’s not the same as if you go into an office. Maybe you are in an office and that’s where you’re working. So you have one or two people to whom you report to let people know what your schedule is too, you’ve said this before, that you can inform people that I will be available from this to this time. I will not be available at this time. You know you’ve kind of set the ground rules or framework for people to come in or to not come in at this moment.

Faith                    

Yes. And that’s having some control and some direction in your life and in your day and how you can value yourself and your rhythm of what it is that you’re needing to do, as well as other people’s choices and needs and connecting with them as well.

Lois                      

I’ve found that so much more today than any other time in my life. I will text people before I call. And I’m sure many of you have done this for years, but for me, I finally, you know, I was old school if I wanted to talk to you, I just called you, right? And I don’t do that now generally without checking first because people are so busy that if they are able to then take a call and set aside, then they will do it. It’s not the same as it used to be. And I find that a new way of life for me, to give people that space to say, how about in 10 minutes or in two hours, whatever.

Faith                    

See, that’s so respectful and that is where you can step into entering the person’s world instead of it becoming a distraction. Our business has changed our methodology.

Lois                      

Right? Because as as we don’t want distractions in our lives, right. We also don’t want to be a distraction in somebody else’s life. The more motivated and engaged in the task you are, the less the sources are of the distraction are going to pull you away from it. And that’s why we are having this conversation today because for so many of us, we aren’t always really engaged in what we’re doing. And, and if we’re not focused, we’re going to be triggered. Yeah, probably go off course.

Faith                 

Yes. And then who knows where we land and then you look back and go, how did I get here? And so it’s really just being aware, being very intentional. It’s not being so disciplined that you feel confined. That’s, that’s not a good way to avoid distractions. It’s like I have to, I have to, I have to. Well now you’re not going to want to, right? You’re going to want to do the opposite. We all have that little rebellious voice inside the, no, you can’t make me. And so don’t make it a negative. Make it the what is going to bear out by staying focused. What is going to be the things that I produce and how is that going to impact my life, my career, my future, my creativity? It’s a positive so it’s not a negative. Allow the distractions to be something that you go to after you have accomplished what you want to.

Lois                       

And what’s so beautiful about that is sometimes things come into your life and you happen to have the time and you can be completely distracted, change everything you thought was going in a certain direction. Do that and feel really free and then when somebody is profusely thankful, I can’t believe you did that and it’s like well I’m glad you caught me on this day cause if you called me tomorrow I wouldn’t have been available. And that’s the truth, that’s just sometimes you’ve got to seize the moment because you might not get it back.

Faith                

That’s really good. That is really, really good. When you’re trying to tackle distractions, do your best to create lists that outline and prioritize what’s most important to you, which helps dismiss something else from creeping in.

Lois                        

Changing up your environment in your mind and in your workspace limits the likelihood of distractions.

Faith                  

We’d love it if you’d share this podcast with anyone you know who’s dealing with distraction in any form.

Lois                       

And join us next week for Transition: the Impact of Exclusion.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.