Friday, July 6, 2012
Have you ever gotten to the point where you’re so distracted, you become distracted from your distractions? Let me explain. There are times when I have a chore to do, or assignment and I can’t focus. So I find my mind wandering to something else only to wander even further into something even less productive. Here’s an example. I knew I needed to get some writing in this last weekend, so I sat down and tried to get into the right state of mind. As I sat and contemplated where I wanted my story to go, my eyes wandered across my desk until I realized it needed to be straightened or I’d become buried in junk. So I started to clean up. While doing this I imagined my characters going about their daily lives until I realized that my desk needed a good dusting soon or the dust would require an archaeologist to clear it away. So what did I do? I started dusting (I don’t know any archaeologists).
After about 20 minutes I looked down at my computer screen, which now had gone dark with its energy saver mode, so I slapped down the cover and continued to clean. Once done, I sat down and checked my text messages. It wasn’t until I checked the clock on my phone that I realized almost an hour had gone by. I was like WTH? I put the phone down, lifted the lid on my laptop and just started writing. I managed to get a good amount of words on page, but it bothered me that such distractions could take over.
So what do you do when you’re so unfocused, you’re distracted by distractions of distractions? I mean it happens to all of us and it can be rather disconcerting. For me, analyzing what happened and why works most of the time. What it really comes down to, for me at least, is having the wrong mindset. Have you ever told yourself “I have to get this done?” I have, but think about what that means. It’s the ‘have’ that frames the activity, not a ‘want’. Everyone has chores and responsibilities that have to be done, it’s a matter of fact in daily life. Sometimes those chores suck, are boring, are difficult, and the do provide a drain on your motivation and morale.
I know what you’re thinking, “thanks for depressing me man.” Sorry, so now that you’re depressed, what do we do about it? Change your mindset of course. Remember, perspective is how we view our lives, our dreams, motivation and ultimately our mission. So you couldn’t concentrate, lost your focus and were distracted by multiple levels of distractions. I’ve found when something like that happens, I need to re-examine why I’m even trying to do that task in the first place. If it’s a chore, well, sometimes you just have to hunker down and get it done. But I’m more interested in the hobby, you know, the thing you want to do that’s supposed to make you feel better, feel happy.
The simple answer is: Maybe you don’t really like what you’re doing. Too easy? Maybe. You could also be stuck in a rut. Being so used to doing something you forgot that it’s supposed to make you feel energized, revitalized, and refreshed. Solution: Try something new. In my example, I was trying to write. Now I love writing, but I found I needed something else for inspiration. Enter the Saxophone. Playing is still creative and expressive, only in a very different way. Once I started playing the Sax you know what I found? It was easier to write. I went back to writing with new vigor and stamina.
So, try something new, if only to remind yourself how much you like your original hobby. A bonus is you find a new activity that inspires you even more than before. And that kind of focus is a good was to avoid distractions. Good luck!
Comments and questions are always welcome. Thanks for reading.
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