For most of us, distractions are pretty distracting.  Do you agree?  Now let’s think about what’s on your list of distractions…how about:

  1. Noise
  2. Music
  3. Weather
  4. Loud conversations
  5. Time constraints
  6. Email
  7. Texts
  8. Malfunctioning technology

Let’s not forget internal distractions…

  1. Illness
  2. Persistent symptoms of being under the weather
  3. Poor night’s sleep
  4. Unhealthy diet
  5. General fatigue
  6. Depression
  7. Anxiety
  8. Preoccupation (e.g. financial concerns)

This is a pretty lengthy list and if we focus on what goes on in our head, it can be incredibly overwhelming!  Sometimes we fear what might occur, have self-doubt, or hear bad news.  The point is we never know what we’ll encounter but what we can count on is that challenges will present themselves.

So as speakers, what can we do?  As we know, stress can get in our way so it helps to have ways to combat stress like:

  • Use progressive relaxation
  • Remove technology for a period of time (e.g. turn off your phone or your computer)
  • Focus on music you enjoy
  • Attend to your breathing
  • Exercise or take a brisk walk
  • Break your routine and change your activity (e.g. reading, watching a movie, drawing)
  • Meditate
  • Engage in yoga
  • Enjoy laughter
  • Reach out to a friend to get your concerns off your chest

Taking control by finding what works well for you is important.  If you don’t, you’ll feel consumed by your stress and it may overwhelm you.  Of course stress is unhealthy for all of us and not something we can afford especially as speakers.

What do you implement when your distractions are distracting?