I was going to write something about staying focused but I got distracted

It was a comment on my previous post that got me thinking about this. I do sometimes long for the days of the typewriter, when I could sit down and type something without a zillion other things vying for my attention. Far too often I approach the computer with a thought in my mind – it could be the germ of a blog post, it could be the prod to email a friend I haven’t been in touch with for a while, it could be “oh, I haven’t checked the news yet” or “I should see what the weather forecast is before the laundry is done” or a whole load of other things. But I come to the computer and just check emails and just check what’s new on Facebook and Multiply and now Google+ and, oh yes, and Twitter of course, and I get into some conversations and… well… several hours later I don’t remember what it was I came into this room for…

Sometimes I do focus on a task: I get a bee in my bonnet about something I really need to write about, and I just ignore all the various inboxes/news feeds etc, open a new blog post and write and keep writing until it’s done. But this kind of determination does not come naturally to me. By nature I’m much more of a beach comber, picking up a pebble here and a pebble there, noticing the waves, spotting another pretty pebble, and so on. I do envy men, who seem to naturally have the tendency to focus on one task at a time.

I think maybe I need to start repeating aloud to myself what it is that I’m determined to do next. I’m reminded of someone I once worked with, who had this lunchtime routine which we all found entertaining: he’d go out to get his lunch stuff – usually a bread roll and some ham or something to put in it – then come back and place the stuff on the table (we used the boardroom table as a dining table for lunch), then walk to the kitchen whilst repeating: “plate, knife, butter, plate, knife, butter…” so he wouldn’t forget what he needed to get. We all thought it was funny, but I’m beginning to wonder now if this wasn’t actually a very good method.


One response to “I was going to write something about staying focused but I got distracted

  1. Ooooohhhhh! I may need to start using that method… Write, post, write, post…

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