How To Use Distractions To Your Advantage
More likely than not distractions are probably not very highly regarded in your life.
This makes sense. For most of us, distractions are nothing more than obstacles to overcome or something that gets in the way of what we want.
But there are times when distractions can be a powerful tool in our lives.
I'm talking about something called pattern interrupts or pattern interruptions.
Pattern interrupts are exactly what they sound like; disruptions to the current pattern, habit, or focus.
While pattern interrupts may seem like nothing more than a fancy distraction, when appropriately applied they offer tremendous benefits.
Sometimes we are so close to something that we miss everything else going around us. While impenetrable focus is an absolute asset in accomplishing what we want, like everything else, we must find the balance.
It's very easy to get overworked and overwhelmed when you go 100%, 100% of the time. When you're doing something, yes please give it 100% including when your focus R&R.
Pattern interrupts are more of a form of restoration than they are a distraction. Again, when strategically applied, a pattern interrupt will give you an opportunity to focus on something entirely different for a short time.
Pattern interrupts create a moment to reassess if our current habits continue to serve us or if it’s time to begin to evolve and adapt.
Ideally, this enables to you re-establish or reconsider your big picture view. "Oh yeah," you say to yourself, "there is a lot more going on than what's in my head."
I was fortunate to enjoy a powerful pattern interrupt this past weekend. I served as Race Co-Director for a great half marathon and relay. This is very different than my typical Saturday morning of training and errands in preparation for the week ahead.
This isn't something I would want every weekend, but for this one it gave me an opportunity to expand outside of my weekly habit. And I had an incredible time and got to work with equally incredible people.
Now I love my weekly weekend routine, but it's important that I continue to evaluate if it continues to serve me. Or maybe I just need to shake things up a little bit and then double back down where I left off.
I'm still answering that question myself so we'll see what happens over the next few days.
Until then, I have to ask; what's an area of your life where you might benefit from a pattern interrupt and what can you do act on that? What do you think you will learn or what did you learn from the experience?