I have this tendency to do too many tasks at once. It’s a blessing and a curse, I think. My ability to multi-task has made many a job position much easier to handle but it’s also led me to a place where my mind is often jumbled and thoughts can escape me mid-sentence. Those around me probably find it entertaining. I find it troubling.
Today while sipping coffee, texting my partner, editing my Farm fresh delivery service and catching up on some blog reading, I came across Zen Habits and their post Best Procrastination Tip Ever. Sounds good to me. I’ve been known to procrastinate. I waited a few seconds and then clicked over.
The first sentence ended with, “I’ll read this later.”
Boy have I said that a time of two. In fact, I’m so often haunted by bold-face email subjects and weathered magazines, it’s a wonder I continue to subscribe to anything. I should add putting off reading to my list of hobbies. I think the reason is that I can’t do other things while I’m reading. In order to read an article, retain the information and form an opinion, I need less distractions. I need to be focused. Focus hmm…not quite a multi-tasker skill. Well, let me rephrase that. Complete focus is not a multi-tasker skill.
Skimming along through the Zen Habits article (no time for adjectives and explanations), I came to the part that said, “Clear away all distractions.”
Well there you have it. . .
I looked up at my navigation bar. There were four other open tabs and a picture file down at the bottom of my screen. Cell Phone by my side. Coffee between me and my laptop. Head itchy. Bird chirping. Trying to decide if I like stone fruit. Okay. Yeah, there is too much going on here.
So I opened WordPress and began this post.
Writing is where I’ve always gone to free my mind. In order to cohesively express the thoughts in my head, I’ve got stop what I’m doing and focus. It’s an opportunity to turn off the chatter and see straight down the tunnel. It’s what I love to do and when I do it the world is quiet and it’s just me and my words. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the same way when I’m working with a patient. Everything else can wait.
I’ve found these moments while meditating as well, although it doesn’t come as easily. In the beginning of a sitting, distractions can march in from any direction. But once I find that place where my mind is quiet, the side doors of multi-tasking start to close and the windows of relaxation and discovery begin to open.
I need to challenge myself to bring these skills into my every day life. When I find myself doing too many things at once, I need to remember to stop and focus. A good idea would be to start keeping a list. When I’m doing something and an idea pops into my head, instead of doing it, I should just write it down. That way I won’t forget about them and I can continue focusing on the task at hand. Sounds like a good idea to me!
What do you do to focus?? How do you handle distractions?