Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.
— Napoleon Hill

In the Victory Letter last week I shared some thoughts around creating good habits to help us from our distractions. This week how about we talk about distractions that have become a bad habit?

First, let’s clarify what quantifies as a distraction. The dictionary states that it is, “A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else and creates extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.”

Last week I disconnected my home phone number, a landline that I have had since we moved into our home 24 years ago. What I had come to realize was that it had in fact for the most part become a distraction. Something I had been putting up with for a number of years.

The phone line had become a habit to pay for all these years even after realizing with my separate cell phone and business line perhaps I really didn’t need to have that home phone line anymore.

The distraction part was that most of the calls that had been coming in on that line were solicitations. These calls had started coming in at an average rate of about 5 per day, ranging from people who had a $250K line of credit with my name all over it, to the one that was the icing on the cake: a few days ago the message on the voicemail said they were the IRS and getting ready to come and arrest me. I kid you not!

Since I know I am a tax paying citizen and these callers were just scammers trying to scare me - it really made me stop to look at how this phone number had become a bad habit in my world.

After doing a little math I realized that I was getting about 1,825 of these unsolicited calls per year! I needed to release this disruptive habit.

The instant result has been no more stopping to check caller ID when the phone rings, because this home phone line has stopped ringing. Anyone who needs to get ahold of me personally knows my cell number.

Now my workflow can remain less interrupted without this unwanted distraction. No more messages left on my voicemail or having to request to be put on peoples no call list when I did pick up a call thinking it was legit.

Interestingly, when I called Comcast to cancel the line I discovered that they in fact were distributing my phone number to various list houses. I had to formally ask that they no longer did that with my business line. A business lesson in itself how greed to get more money for the business I had given them all these years actually cost them business.  

What is your biggest distraction that has become a bad habit? That interruption that you have been tolerating most days and simply accepting the time it wastes for you in hopes of some positive benefit that never seems to appear.

Take a look around you. What is the habit that has become so comfortable you find yourself continuously knowing it’s wasting your time and money?

If you have the time - join me tomorrow for a webinar on Amplifying Your Social Media ROI.  Even if you can’t attend live, be sure to register in order to get the recording.  It’s free to join and will be full of insights on how to get social media to not be a distraction and in fact become a compliment to your business.

Funny thing with the phone line is that I got a huge response when I announced to my friends on Facebook that it I had disconnected it, telling me I am not alone.  Some people said they needed to take the plunge to remove the same distraction and some said they did it years ago.

Would love to have you share in the comments below that distracting bad habit you are ready to release, or one that you may have recently liberated yourself from and felt the benefits!

To Your Successes and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 
and Founder of the Victory Circles