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How To Stop Being Pushed Around By Deadlines and Distractions

Trying to keep your balance and sanity whilst juggling increasing demands and deadlines is really difficult. Add distractions and diversions at every turn into the mix and it’s near impossible.

Your ability to think clearly and calmly is seriously impaired when your conscious mind is being bombarded with stimuli and this is what creates the very real feeling of incredible stress and pressure. This occurs when the number of items you have to process is greater than your conscious mind has the capacity to process.

It is a curious balancing act because on the one hand technology is driving us to work faster and more productively but on the other hand is inviting us to slow down or stop altogether with distractions and diversions in the guise of social media.

Both the ‘race for pace’ and the ‘war of attention’ is easy to understand in commercial terms.

The more quickly you can achieve your goals and targets the more productive you will be, which brings real gains for you and your organisation. A consequence of this ‘race for pace’ is that you are both encouraged and enabled to work harder.

Meanwhile, technology and social media platforms are engaged in a ‘war of attention’ – competing for your attention to their content because the more addicted you become watching videos, reading blogs or responding to posts with likes and comments, the more advertising dollars they will make. The challenge for you is that in most cases being distracted and diverted stops you from being productive and achieving the outcomes you want.

As your focus falters you lose control and feel overwhelmed as you are pushed and then pulled in different directions, losing your balance in the process.

Using the MTQ48 Mental Toughness 4Cs framework can help get you through this mental tug of war by helping you work in a more structured way and improve your focus.

Mental toughness is defined as ‘resilience – the ability to cope with life’s difficulties’ and ‘confidence – the ability to spot and seize opportunities’.

Each of the 4C’s pillars within the 4Cs framework

  • Control
  • Commitment
  • Challenge
  • Confidence

help create a different mental strength which when combined builds your mental toughness ie your ability to perform under stress and pressure.

The 4C’s are as follows:


Being high on control enables you to build a strong sense of self-identity and self-worth, which creates an anchor and together with reaffirming your purpose as a guiding light, reduces the likelihood of you wasting your time away.

You also ensure that you manage your emotions to ensure your feelings don’t control your actions and that you respond not react to situations that threaten your security or ego.


Being high on commitment is a result of being more disciplined around setting and prioritising goals and being focused enough to achieve the necessary outcomes without being distracted or interrupted by less important matters.

It is these two C’s in particular ‘control and commitment’ which together form resilience as an inner strength. They help you to feel in control of your own destiny and allow you to be intensely focused on achieving your goals and avoid being overwhelmed and pushed around by the sheer volume of distractions. They help you keep your balance.


Challenge is the drive for betterment and adaptability and Confidence is self-belief and influence.  Challenge and Confidence are also critically important C’s but have an outer orientation and are less relevant than resilience here. However being confident and influential, striving to be the best you can and comfortable with change are qualities that can help you navigate to a better place and so should not be overlooked.