Once again it’s time for the Big Game (football game that is)! And once again, my favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs will participate. I will probably lose a few fans (mostly in Cincinnati) by saying this or writing this blog but I’m willing to take the chance when it comes to observing some of the Mindset Mastery that is required to first be part of the Big Game and second, to win it. Using the backdrop of the Big Game, I will explore some ideas and share some most valuable practices (MVPs) so you can also Grow Like a Pro!

Distractions are a threat to anyone and can happen at any time. We have all dealt with distractions. NFL players are not immune. The week before the Big Game is full of them!  Media commitments, meetings, and being away from home are a few. Throw in any off-field drama for any given team and you and the distraction index goes up quickly. Distractions before the game will be one of the primary issues players and coaches will be addressing. They’re unavoidable and could affect player performance come game time.

How can you minimize the effect of distractions on your performance? Here are FIVE ideas on how to stay focused:

  • Know your triggers: There are different types of distractions. Some are internal (that desire to check FB Marketplace) and some are external (phone alerts). Which affect you most? Is it the casual intrusion into your workspace? Is it computer alerts and email chimes? Social media? Maybe your cell phone? Knowing what distracts you most is the first step to limiting the impact on your performance.
  • Goal setting: Keep the end in mind. Review your goals regularly to keep them top of mind. What happens if you get distracted moving toward your goal? What are the negative consequences?
  • Create Mind space: You have a calendar and about 480-540 minutes in each workday to make the most of your time. Be intentional about carving out time for projects/tasks that require deep focus. A 30-second interruption at a time of deep focus can set you back 40-45 minutes!
  • Physical separation: Sometimes you have to take steps to set yourself aside, turn off electronic, and foster an environment that limits distractions. Using focus features on phones can be helpful. Some people like quiet. Some like music. My kids use “Lo Fi” jazz to help them focus. I tried it. I liked it!
  • Planned distractions: Sometimes our brains need a break. Build some time into your day for distractions so you don’t get caught off guard. Be intentional. If something is expected and planned it can be better managed and there is less disappointment.

Distractions affect performance and keep you from being at your BEST! You may not be up against the hype of the Big Game, but you have hype of your own to manage and maybe your next Big Game! These Five Steps can change how you can stay focused, feelproductive, and deliver your best performance.

Next Topic: From Errors to End zones