The Compounding Effect of Too Many Distractions

If the first thing you do when you come home is watch TV or get on the Internet you’ll find that you’re missing out on things that could bring more meaning to your life.

What if, instead, you spent an hour on something that could have a compounding affect on your life. Maybe it’s learning about a new development framework or how to get the most out of your text editor. An hour a day is it not a lot of time. The result over a few months then years will move you from viewing life linearly to exponentially.

Why salary plateaus at 35

Here is the average salary by age:

Data from Indeed

Notice that at 35 salary starts to plateau at ~$50,000? Why is this?

If we start to speculate and use intuition we’ll realize a couple things. One, people are starting to settle into their career. They have experience and are starting to gain wisdom. But more interesting is that their most active learning years are behind them.

They’re well out of college. The number of mentors above them are starting to shrink. When they first entered the workforce everything was new so everything was a learning experience. The challenges are getting easier and easier but the pay feels good. So why would they push themselves any harder than they have to.

A life less distracted

What if you removed every distraction from your life? Removed all the items queued up in your podcast app, Netflix account, or Amazon book list? What if you optimized for continual learning throughout your entire life?

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”

– Hal Elrod

Are you worried about what entertainment you’re missing out on? Or what you could be learning?

Once you know what the one thing you want is, what direction you want to go, identifying distractions becomes easy. In fact, you probably already know what distracts you.

Not too long ago I wrote how to optimize your phone for output not input. Optimizing your phone is a great place to start. It’s designed for constant distraction so configuring it into a output machine will make it a critical element for moving towards your goals.

Two simple calls-to-action

If it does not add to your life, if it causes you to plateau, cut it from your life.

If it has a compounding affect, do it.

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