First, I must apologize for my inconsistency here and especially with the leadership series. 2020 should be better!!!
Ok I intend to keep this SHORT because what typically stops me from writing is when I think of all the many things I wanna cram into one blog post (#FirstClassEfikoProbs)
No kidding but just below this post, I have TWO posts I am yet to complete cos the ideas don’t wanna stop and I am tired lol…
But let us focus on this one…
DISTRACTIONS is such a thing in our lives today, and while a lot of us are complaining that we don’t have time, if we checked our distraction levels, we would see that we actually have A LOT OF TIME but we are wasting it on rubbish and nonsense.
By God’s grace, distractions are one thing I have learned to keep to a minimal in my life, and my goodness, what a journey it has been to getting here.
First, if you KNOW me from this blog, you would KNOW that I have FRIENDS!!! I am not sure how I do it but my friend list is not just long, but it is real, enriching, fuelling and deeply satisfying.
I have been BLESSED!!!
However, the Lord (Heyyyyyy) dragged my WHOLE life when He told me about two months ago that I was being distracted by my friends and I was not giving ample time to the other assignments in my life. He was then very clear when He said I would change the dynamics of your friendships such that quantity would give way to quality.
I lost no time…
I drafted a message to my closest friends and told them I needed two weeks to just understand my life, so I would be unavailable. Right after that, I drafted another one that became the new rules of engagement…
See a screen shot
So basically, now my friends KNOW that when it is work time, it is work time. When people send me personal messages during work time, I ignore or archive it.
After work, or at the weekend, I get to it.
Frankly, before I did it, I was SCARED. I recall telling DDK that if I have TWO FRIENDS left at the end of the year, I would be lucky. My husband actually supported me to do it cos he said someone like Bishop Oyedepo and Bishop Wale Oke are friends and they do not talk all the time, so if my friendships are based on talking all the time, then maybe I should REALLY shake things up and see how it stands.
But God so good, all my close friends not only understood but they also respected it.
Some of my more casual friends pushed back but I was gentle in explaining that this is what it is. I used to be angry too when I felt like people were ignoring me but they were just wiser before me.
And really, it tempts me to carry on personal convos during work times. For instance all through today, a group I lead, the JESUS GIRLS DUBAI TRIP whatsapp group has been buzzing and while I am itching to know what new info has come up, I decided to delay gratification, focus on work and will only open it later today if I have time. Or tomorrow.
Funny how after I made that decision, I was reading JOMO by Tonya Dalton and she had this line on her best friend I wanna share…
I was like ‘See correct people have adopted this strategy since and me I have been slacking’
Frankly, this makes your relationships richer, and then frees up time for you.
My productivity levels PEAKED once I started this
Let me also drop a screen shot from another book I read which also talked about this.
Funny how people have been doing this before now…
Oh, and just in case you wondered, my friends and I had to work out schedules to make sure we keep in touch. On my task board, I have TEN friends whose friendship I must nurture on a regular
Yes, I blurred it out so I don’t cause world war 3 haha
Ok, moving on to another hack that has helped me keep my distraction levels low and productivity levels high
I LEANED OUT MY APPS AND DISABLED ALL NOTIFICATIONS ON BOTH MY PHONES
First, I uninstalled my personal whatsapp. It got too distracting and I was tired of apologizing for not responding or keeping up with chats. I thought I would take it down for two weeks but I felt so free I decided I was forever done.
Most of us know that I am leaving social media finally soon so right now, I don’t have all those IG Twitter and Facebook signed in on my phone. My staff and team who handle my social media do though but me, I don’t even check. Again, I decided I could do without them.
Yes, even for my business as our business model at CSL is changing
I only have a few Apps on my personal phone and all notifications are off except the Bible App, of which MOST of the Bible notifications are all off except for two or so. Even my ring tone is mostly off and custom to receive calls from hubby alone most times.
So whenever I pick up either of my phones, nothing is drawing my attention. No red stars and no notifications on my drop down menu.
To see any message, I have to open the App. That applies to whatsapp for business, emails, wordpress comments and likes, text messages and all.
I am SO FREE it is FREEING
Digital MAXIMALISM is like a prison and I decided to break free.
And finally (at least for this post), the third way I minimize distractions is that I schedule my hours, days, weeks and month
This one is so key for every serious leader. Having free time means any and every thing will take your time. But knowing that every hour is accounted for makes you sit up.
Now, some may say this can be stifling but trust me hon, it is the MOST FREEING thing ever.
Do I have all my hours go perfectly? Nope. But when something happens to shake it, I quickly adjust and keep going. It is better than having no plan and then being so flexible it is so unproductive.
So for example, I have my monthly block, weekly schedule and daily priority list. If you were to ask me now if you can come visit me on Thursday, I only need to look at my schedule and I have your answer.
I also try to leave wiggle room for contingencies but mostly, I block out my hours right up to the month.
Babes, let me tell you, SUCCESS IS INTENTIONAL. I have leaned into the lives of my mentors and teachers, from DDK to Chris Caine to Joyce Meyer to Pastor M, to Craig Groeschel, to Heather Lindsey and I have read a gazillion books on productivity. All those people you admire, (and low key beef) who look like they have two heads are doing things similar to what I have shared with you ooo.
I am mostly amazed when people lean into my life and are surprised at how intentional I live. I am like ‘haaaa, you would NOT be drawn to me if I was casual about my life ooo’
I am not saying copy me, I am saying look at your life and brutally eliminate distractions. It may seem weird at the beginning but you and everyone who pushes back go dey alright!!!
Even my family respect that, AND I AM THE LAST BORN lol
So if you have been called into leadership at any level, you must fight to keep your productivity levels high in a world that naturally tilts towards distractions.
And when you get a hang of it, soon the world will pay you notice and best of all, you get to live your life in a way that glorifies God because then, you have time to be Obedient to ALL He has called you to do and in every place He has called you to LEAD!!!
Do you have any more tips? Do you have questions?
Let me hear them please and I would do my best to answer
Cheers to being PRODUCTIVE and brutally eliminating DISTARCTIONS