There's a lot of media around that holds our attention these days. You can eat up half a day just browsing links from one blog to another, browsing social media sites or watching YouTube videos one after another, all while keeping yourself perfectly entertained. You can even justify your actions by saying it's “research” for your business. The problem isn't really the time you spend, but rather the lack of a filter on what you're digesting.
Not everything you read, watch or hear is valuable.
You wouldn't give your car just anything that resembled gas would you? Would you eat something you knew was toxic? We take special care of things we can physically see, but don't apply it to what we're consuming mentally. It may not seem like a big deal, until you realize that your thoughts and motivations are influenced by what you're absorbing mentally. If you don't have a filter that acts as a quality control mechanism, you're going to waste time on information or data that doesn't benefit you and may actually discourage you altogether.
Your time, however, is valuable.
You are an important person. You are needed in order to succeed in whichever endeavor you've chosen to pursue. You are captain of your own ship. This means you need to be at the controls making executive decisions. Be selective about what you let in. Make sure it contributes to your overall goals and direction. If you ensure that everything your mind is digesting is valuable, what you dispense will in return be just as valuable.
Media isn't the only distraction.
Media outlets aren't the only culprits or instigators. Family drama, unhappy co-workers, tragic news reports, negative Twitter and Facebook rants… they all contribute in their own way to bringing a person down. When you let this kind of information in, you have to start from a negative point to move forward. If you start from a point of happiness, pleasure or excitement, you have a distinct advantage. Why not use this to your benefit?
Find positive outlets and sources.
The great news is that it's easy to make sure you're feeding your brain the right diet. You can find mental nourishment from educational blogs, positive people and generally anything that just makes you feel good. The goal is to selectively allow information in. Create an inner circle of people you know who will uplift you. Only read blogs or watch videos that inspire you to do something positive towards your goal. Turn off the news completely and separate yourself from naysayers and naggers. Challenge yourself and actively try this for a week. You just might be surprised at how much easier it is to stay focused and on task. How close will you get to attaining your goals?