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January 25, 2024

It’s Time to Declare War on Your Distractions (Here’s How)

By Craig Groeschel

You will never accomplish big goals when you’re distracted by things that don’t matter.

Think of it this way: Your enemy doesn’t need to destroy you if he can distract you. If he distracts you, he can enjoy watching you destroy yourself.

So often, our most important choices in life aren’t between good and bad but between good and best.

A major example of this is social media. The average person spends about 17 hours a week scrolling and tapping. That will amount to more than seven years of your life.

Is social media a bad thing? No. But it’s not always what’s best for you.

So what can we do to avoid distractions? Here are three strategies you can use today:

1. Move the Line

If a doctor is about to do surgery on you, you don’t ask him, How close can you get to my artery without slicing it and causing me to bleed out on your table?

Or, when I was studying to get my pilot’s license, I never asked myself, what’s the least amount of fuel I can put in the airplane and still not crash and die short of the nearest airport?

When it’s obvious there’s real danger, we stay away from the line of danger. We should do the same with distractions.

Rather than trying to stop watching so much YouTube, we delete the app.

We don’t just try to stop hitting snooze; we move the alarm clock across the room.

Why resist a distraction tomorrow if you have the power to eliminate it today?

2. Magnify the Cost

To magnify the cost, you have to ask yourself three questions before you face a distraction:

  • What is the best use of my time?
  • What am I missing out on when I lose this time?
  • What if this time spent well could lead to my next critical breakthrough?

When it comes to distractions, assume the time you’re losing is critical, because it is.

3. Map Out Your Escape

You must decide in advance how you will get out of a temptation to become distracted.

Let’s say you’re focused on eating healthy. You open the cabinet and see a big bag of M&M’s. What do you do?

  1. Go ahead and eat them. (They are delicious.)
  2. Open the bag, throw all the M&M’s into the air, look up with your eyes closed and mouth open, and assume any M&M’s that fall into your mouth must be God’s will.
  3. Follow your pre-decided escape route.

Option three is the only effective plan.

If I’m vulnerable to eating what I shouldn’t, I need to decide in advance what to do.

I do this by pre-deciding to ask for help. When tempted, my escape route is to call a friend. That person can pray for me and provide accountability by asking later what I did with the M&M’s after I hung up.

If you’re thinking, Really, Craig, all that to just not eat some candy? Yes—because I’m serious about my health, like so many other areas of my life, even for what some may consider no big deal, I have pre-decided an escape. I build up this muscle of pre-deciding in the small things, so it’s strong in the bigger areas of my life.

I’d encourage you to plan out an escape next time you’re tempted to spend time on unimportant things.

Who will you call when you want to play that video game? What’s your plan next time TikTok tempts you?

So what do you need to do?

Do you need to …

  • Turn off certain notifications?
  • Delete an app?
  • Put some distance between you and your gossipy friend?
  • Cancel Netflix?
  • Limit your time on social media or watching TV?
  • Turn off your phone when you pray and read the Bible?
  • Dump your distracting boyfriend or girlfriend?

Whatever it is, it will be hard but worth it because God has a path and a purpose for you.

As you wage war on your distractions, you’ll have to say no to some good things, but you will be saying yes to what’s best.

More Tools for Winning the War on Your Distractions

For more practical strategies that will help you destroy your distractions, get my newest book Think Ahead: 7 Decisions You Can Make Today for the God-Honoring Life You Want Tomorrow.

It’s time to start experiencing the joy and freedom God has for you! It’s time to Think Ahead.


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