Finding routines that help us achieve our goals is key for staying on track. To get where we want to be, it takes consistency over a long period of time. A sudden jump to success is rare, and most cases of "quick successes" are not what they appear to be.
To establish habits that produce success, removing distractions is essential. There are so many outside forces that will try and deter you from keeping on track. At first you'll make an exception, and before you know it the habit breaks or never fully becomes adopted.
Below, I'll outline a few ways you can make sure you stay on track by removing major distractions from your life. It will be difficult to stay strong and not give in to temptation at first, but over time you won't think about the decision twice.
1) Start Focusing On Your Spending
A little while ago, I looked at my monthly spending and was amazed at how much went to eating out and having drinks. While some of these occasions were fun and or productive, many of them were a waste. They took up a ton of my time, wasted a lot of my money, and sometimes left me with a headache in the morning.
So recently, I told myself I was only going to spend $200 on food and entertainment the entire month. And you know what happened? I became 10 times more productive. It became much easier to tell my friends I wasn't able to go out drinking. No longer did I have to worry about saying yes to every social event I got invited to. I was forced to only select the invitations I absolutely wanted to go to. This cleared my schedule so I could focus on and execute on what was most important.
2) Stay Away From Gossip
Looking at my time allotment, way too much was going to unneeded gossip. Late night chatter with roommates, and drama with friends would take hours away from what needed to get done. While there are definitely times to lay back and get away from work, we need to make sure we take strategic breaks.
A strategy to help avoid gossiping while in work mode is to use time blocks. Set 60 minutes aside and work in silence. Get as much of the task at hand done before taking a break. When you do take a break, keep the chatter to 10 minutes then go back on the grind. This method will allow you to always have time to take a lunch break and hit the gym. "Working" throughout the day with never ending distractions will make you miserable and inefficient.
3) Don't Give In To Peer Pressure
Some people always look at being different negatively. But to be productive and successful, you must be willing to separate yourself from the social norms. Saying no to almost everything is not what most people do. Instead, they always yes and keep their schedule as busy as possible. But to be busy is not the same thing as being productive.
The most productive people I have met say no to almost every opportunity that comes their way. They completely dedicate themselves to one thing. You need time to think, take a break, and learn. Overpacking your schedule may get you popular, but it will not get you to your goals. Being disciplined over a long duration of time, and only focusing on the most important things will.