When you find yourself unable to give your full attention to something because your focus has been pulled away; that's a distraction. In order to achieve any task you must stay focused. This can be applied to something as simple as baking cookies. If you place your cookies in the oven and start another task, it's easy to forget about the cookies, until you smell something burning.
Beautiful distractions come wrapped in promotions, excellent opportunities, and worthy causes. The important thing to consider here is: Am I being pulled away from something? If the answer is YES, then no matter how good it may appear to be, that thing is still a distraction.
For many years now, I have been carrying several unwritten books inside of me. Every time I sit down and began to write, something come along and pull me away. Recognizing a distraction depends on how obvious or subtle, the pull away is. For instance not writing because I chose to get up early and read instead of write, is clearly a distraction. In a more subtle way not writing in order to volunteer for a worthy cause; is still a distraction. Although, I may be serving a very worthy cause and doing a great work, the fact that I am not also writing, makes it a distraction.
Have you ever made up your mind to leave a job and try something new? You have one foot out the door and ready to spring forward; when out of nowhere you are offered a promotion. Stop, consider the motivation for why you are wanting to leave the position. If your answer is financial gains, then maybe reconsider your exit. On the other hand if you are departing for a total career transformations, then RUN FORREST RUN. The promotion is clearly a distraction, even if it is wrapped up in dollar signs.
On my writing journey, I have attempted many things to stay focused. Often times, I considered my hectic schedule and busy environment to be the cause of distraction. However, during a vacation in Aruba where everything was calm and peaceful, I still came home without a manuscript. The ocean and slower pace on the island was definitely an ideal place to write. Yet, all I could manage to write. were daily journal entries. Although, distractions were partly to blame for my writing slumps, the lack of consistent discipline, was also an important factor.
Regardless of what may come and pull you away from a task, you must have discipline to stay focused. Life happens so expect to be pulled off task from time to time. The key is to be disciplined enough to recognize, refocus, and get back on track. Remember discipline comes from practice and repetition. Sometimes, the key to finding the discipline to write and publish your first book, is found during a forty day writing journey. (winks)