Saturday, January 7, 2012

Huh, you say something?

Wouldn't it be lovely to [doorbell] be able to do one thing [dog bark] at a time and do it well?
To take on [dryer buzzer] a task and see it [baby cry] through to [phone ring] its tidy completion
That kind of [ooooh shiny] scenario is becoming less and less [sneeze] common in our [ouch!] distraction-laden tech world.

More and more often, people are getting fed up with the dangers posed by distracted drivers on the road.  In the area where I live it was reported that over New Year's weekend, drivers would be cited not only for texting or talking on cell phones, but also for eating and applying makeup... anything that could be considered a distraction from the focus need to drive safely and alertly.  The 'no drinking and driving' issue is no longer up for debate.

Early on in my texting days I would have been lumped into the pool of miscreants behind the wheel.  I was very VERY careful... but still.... there were a couple of times where I took my eyes off the road to glance at my cell screen for 'just a second'.... and nearly collided into someone or something ahead of me who had moved unexpectedly or stopped abruptly.  I eventually learned my lesson, without incident, thankfully.

The distractions we fall prey to in our daily routine can be far more subtle.  Aside from the obvious.... TV and the internet.... what kinds of things crop up and seemingly try to derail you from the task at hand?  I live with someone who is committed to interrupting me every ten minutes to impart trivia he's already shared numerous times, or ask me questions he already knows the answers to.  I lose my train of thought and have to 'start all over' trying to figure out where I was, what I was doing and where I was going with it all.  I have estimated that these interruptions cause me to require 4 hours to accomplish anything that should take me 1 hour... It's disconcerting, at best.  I also have a shockingly loud neighbor and a whiny pup who can not bear to play second fiddle to my computer or phone. 

What are your distractions?  And more important, how can you manage them in order to stay focused on what most requires your loving care and attention?  One thing is clear, if we do not handle distractions, they handle us.  So regardless of the means we employ to revoke distractions' powers, we must do so deliberately and consistently.  Little things like a microwave buzzer may not put our lives at risk the way a distracted driver could, but they still must be put in their proper place of priority and perspective in order for us to shine as brightly as those shiny objects we love to ogle.

with focus and joy 

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