The birds are chirping. The kids are screaming. The dog paws at your leg to go outside. The phone rings. Someone stops by your desk to ask a question — or discuss last night’s episode of cop drama. Distractions are everywhere, and they specialize in derailing your focus. We’re expected to multitask throughout our lives, but somehow that just doesn’t seem to work. For example, at this very moment two of my three children are protesting nap time — one a little more loudly than the other. I only have so much time on my days off to write several posts, and I can find myself staring blankly at the screen, desperately trying to remind that brilliant line I created in my head. However, time continues to pass, and tasks must be accomplished. So how then are we expected to focus and produce quality results? What do we do to discipline ourselves during distracting moments?
First of all, move on to another task. I read this everywhere I go, but Cordelia’s the freshest in my mind. I may be loathe to do so, but sometimes folding the laundry helps relieve the irritation of distraction-induced writer’s block. Sure, I get irritated that I’m folding laundry, but at least I’m not dwelling on my lack of creative thoughts. If you’ve folded the laundry, washed the dishes, scrubbed the toilet, weeded the garden, washed the car, and scraped the gutters already, go do something else! If you’re at work, I’ve got nothing — as a co-worker of mine says, “if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.” I don’t know what your respective day jobs entail, so I trust you’ll figure out what to do.
Personally, I just spun a distracting situation into an essay. I chose to let my distractions become my focus in order to channel some creativity. It just takes some reframing of your perspective.