I just got back from a long weekend with my fiance. We stayed at the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside, CA for a weekend long retreat for engaged couples who are soon to be married. I learned a lot of things about marriage preparation, such as how to argue (yes, how to argue), how to work together to make big decisions in our lives, as well as what we'll need to make decisions about, such as where to spend our holidays, how to think about finances, and what our goals in life are.
Overall, the weekend was great, but I couldn't help but start relating some of the information that I learned over the weekend to my business, which I will share with you now because I think it's very sound advice. It all has to do with things that distract or take away from a relationship. In regards to making money, especially making money online—whether you're blogging or writing ebooks—these are things that waste your time. They may be obvious to you, but hear me out.
Bad Thing Number One: Television
Our group leader, Dave, said that one of the best ways to really connect with your spouse is to have dinner together with the T.V. off. (GASP!) It's funny because my fiancee and I eat dinner together a lot a home, and almost 100% of the time, the television is on. We're either watching Friends, Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, or Cash Cab. We love T.V.
However, when I think about it, when we're watching T.V. together, that's all we're doing. We'll talk about some things, but those are mostly comments about what we're watching on the screen. Watching T.V. is hardly doing anything for us to grow and strengthen our relationship.
How This Relates to Your Business
T.V. takes us away from the many things we could be doing to earn more money. It's as simple as that. Even with it on in the background, we cannot devote 100% of our attention to maximizing our income. At least I can't, and I assume this is the same for most of you.
What is watching T.V. worth anyways? What does it do to help our business and income streams? What do we really GET out of it? Almost nothing but a momentary laugh or quick moment of satisfaction. Not much for our futures.
Because of this, I plan to cut down my time watching T.V. and do more productive things that will improve my future, such as talk to my spouse face to face during dinner about our day and our plans, and find new ways of making more money online too.
That being said, don't get me wrong…I can't get enough of How I Met Your Mother and Lost. I just have to be smart about how much I watch T.V.
Bad Thing Number Two: The News
Ok, so some news is important, but if you spend any of your day (like me) and just browsing the internet for random news articles to read (especially on digg), than it's my opinion that we're wasting our precious time, which again could be used for more productive things.
Dave, our group leader, had been asked a few times what was happening in the news during the weekend, as many people were curious of the going-ons around the world as we were staying in a secluded mission with no internet access or television. He went home that night, went on the internet and told us all of the top news articles from 10 different popular new websites the next day. Most of the headlines were about some new study or celebrity gossip, such as how Kendra from “The Girls Next Door” had cheated on Hugh Heffner after sneaking out on multiple occasions.
After reading these headlines to us, he then said, “See…these are the things that are happening around us. What is more important? Today's news, or your relationship with your fiancee? Don't worry about the news right now, and focus on improving your relationship.”
These were pretty strong words, but I totally know what he meant, especially because it relates to how I sometimes get distracted while working at home.
How This Relates to Your Business
If you work at home, or even in an office, you can understand how EASY it is to just pop open internet explorer or firefox and surf the web. I am a digg addict and I always look for the top stories on digg when I lose my focus.
(20 minutes later) I just went to digg to find out what some of the latest headlines were to show you how pointless some of that information can be, and I literally got lost in some of the videos and articles as I was writing this post. That's dangerous territory which could suck away valuable time in my day. I like digg, so I'll have to do better in limiting exactly how much time I spend on it and how many times I go there each day.
Ask The Readers
To sum it all up, it's not about getting rid of the things we enjoy, such as watching T.V. or finding random news articles or videos online—but rather it's about being smart about how much time we use doing those things, because as we all know, time is valuable and something we can never get back.
What are some things or websites that distract you when you're trying to get work done? What will you try to do to control an excessive amounts of time you spend doing those things?