Give In To Distractions

AdviserBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice

In this issue: Enjoy your distractions guilt-free!


Distractions come at us non-stop. What if instead of beating yourself up about going down rabbit trails on an online search or spending time texting a friend about your upcoming weekend plans instead of emailing a client, you simply gave in to the distractions?

I can hear many of you now saying, "Wait. What? I thought Paul talked about how to be distraction-proof! What does he mean, 'Simply give into the distractions?'"

I am still a strong advocate for overcoming distractions, but the fact is, we're not going to escape them. We know we have a lot of people and information within quick, easy reach. We're now accustomed to trying to work, knowing that our closest friends or interests are only one Facebook glance, LinkedIn look, or YouTube ogle away.

So, rather than constantly battling with the temptation to spend time on these sites, actually make time for them: make your distractions work for you.

Admit to yourself that it's fun finding out what's going on, who's working where, or how many back flips a fox terrier can do on a trampoline – just don't make spending time on these things your top priority. Instead, spend time pursuing these things as a way to reward yourself for getting through the main priorities of your day. By viewing these pursuits as rewards, you'll turn something that could have been a time-sapping distraction into a useful incentive to motivate you to keep going on what counts, so you can enjoy those diversions, guilt-free.

If you need to be calling prospects or clients, do that, knowing that you will take 15 minutes at the end of the day to check what your friends are posting or tweeting. Only turn to the entertainment activities IF you have taken care of your main priorities with the level of responsibility and quality attention that you know you should have. TRANSLATION: Be honest with yourself!

Allocate a time-block to reviewing Linked In information and proactively 'reaching out' to people who are of business interest to you. Don't just cruise through random groups: specifically search for ones that will help you grow your business. Use LinkedIn tactically to establish connections with people who would be beneficial to your business.

If you find it difficult to sit still for more than an hour, set yourself a goal of doing 55 minutes worth of focused writing, calling, or other work, then get up and take a 5 to 10 minute walk. Step away from your desk, head out of your office, and go around the block. Get some fresh air. If you work from 8:30am to 5:30pm, you'll have 7 or 8 of these time-blocks daily.

Be disciplined to actually take your break (even if you don't really feel like you need it), and then keep your break time to only 5 to10 minutes. Use a timer or alarm to help you keep track of the minutes. You'll be surprised at how fresh and productive you will be.

So try this:

  1. Decide how long your next work time-block will be.
  2. Decide how long your break time-block will be (and stick to it).
  3. Decide on your reward.

Instead of letting distractions derail you, use them to your advantage. By rewarding yourself with some LinkedIn, Facebook or email moments, you can mix some play with work and keep fresher with better work / personal life balance.

Go ahead, enjoy those distractions!

Copyright Paul Kingsman 2011

As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an adviser, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisers. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching he equips them to overcome distractions so they can get the money they need, the clients they want, and the time to do what they love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit or email him at

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