Driven to Distraction

This morning I awoke with a blog post idea floating around in my head. I often feel that these are my best blog posts…the ones I write in my sleep. I hopped out of bed, grabbed my coffee and sat down to write.

Then it happened, DISTRACTION!

It started with me thinking, what bills must be paid this week? We suffered a rainout on Saturday (or near rainout) and therefore diminished income. I stopped to figure this out.

Okay, I have a plan! Time to write!

Then my brain shifted to the things I need to do this week! Make a list, prioritize. Mark off a few things. Accomplish some of the urgent needs.

Okay, now I can write.

Jenn pops her head in, ‘can I ask a few questions?’ ‘Sure’ Okay, that’s done – she’s off to her day and tasks.

Okay, NOW, I can write!

Refresh coffee, look for reference material. Phone rings, it is mom. ‘Hello’  ‘Computer problems AGAIN?’ We figure out a plan of action (which probably requires a new computer).

OKAY – finally, I can write – what was my topic again?

According to the official US Government website on distracted driving (yes Virginia, there is such a thing) 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes and 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

So, if our driving could be almost 20% better by focus….imagine how much better this blog post could be without all the distractions!

You might actually be finished reading this AND know what my topic was going to be.

Happy Monday, Ya’ll…. Focus on something good today.

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As I was sayin- OH LOOK! a Squirrel

Sometimes the hardest thing about writing a daily blog is figuring out the topic. Once there is a topic, then it is really just a matter of getting my facts, photos, etc, etc. The writing usually comes easy for me – I have the gift of gab 🙂

However today, as I started to write I received a phone call; which I handled and then set back to my writing. Then I saw an email come in, something very important that was / is past due; I jumped to handle it. Next a text message came in about an event I am attending tonight. Soon half my day was gone and I still only had my topic and research toward my blog post.

As much as I hope my words can and do inspire you, I usually write to myself. I wrote about Focus in July of 2010 and how having a visual reminder of your goal is important. However in my example focus wasn’t my issue, it was distractions.

Often distractions kill our momentum. We have clear sight of our goal and then we allow others to shift our attention. Chances are you already know these ways to help you keep your attention on the task at hand. However, a refresher is always helpful.

  1. Turn off the ringer on your phone. I understand how difficult this is; especially if you have kids or others for whom you are responsible. So if you are in a situation where you need to be reachable by a select number of people, try giving those people special ringtones. Then leave your phone where you can hear it, but not see it. Only get up and go to the phone for those sounds, all others can go to voicemail and you can deal with it later. You can read more about telephones – from tool to intrusion here.
  2. Stop email notifications. This is actually hard one for me. However, those notices take away time and the flow of your thoughts. Email isn’t urgent! Set times when you read, and respond, to mail. Stick to it!
  3. Stop being social. Facebook, twitter, and now google+ are time wasters. Don’t get me wrong, they have benefits. I use the technology and they are great tools but make sure you are aware of how you use the tools and that the tools do not ‘take over’.
  4. Make a to-do list and stick to it.

If you can control your environment, you can accomplish your goals.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the benefits of a virtual workout partner.


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