Well, it’s about 1:15 AM and I’m just sitting down to write this post, which says something about the way this day has gone. I could talk about my co-author Bruce’s call about an idea he has for a writing project. Or about the order I put in for a gift and the call I had to make to be sure the order went through. Or about the presentation I went to hear given by a professor who’s retiring and I admire, which started me thinking about the Founding Fathers and how amazing they are. Or about the Wikipedia article I read on Sir James M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, which I just had to check out after catching the tail end of the Peter Pan musical on TV, most of which I missed because I was at the lecture.
As all this rambling suggests, not only am I fagged, I’m also frustrated, mainly because I let all of these distracting distractions well…distract me.
I’m sure you can relate. Some days, it’s just hard to focus. There’s so much going on, so many little niggling things to do, that they just munch away at the muse time we crave but let slip away.
A friend of mine says we have to guard our time by putting alligators in the moat. I’m not sure how to do this, but it sounds like a good idea, because, if we don’t guard it, who will?
Not Channel 4 or 7 or whatever, because they are happy to suck up our time and hopefully, our bucks. Not the Internet, that tantalizing cornucopia of digital delights which we can so easily crawl into and then find ourselves floating in cyberspace. Not our own resistance to tackling the day’s work, which so often relies on the pesky distractions life sends our way.
What to do, what to do? Well, tomorrow’s another day and hopefully, I can turn today’s frustration into tomorrow’s fuel. Here’s one little tool I have that I’m also going to turn to for help — and that might help you as well if you try it. Sitting on the upper left hand corner of my desk is a slightly faded little pink index card on which I’ve written: “Now I’m going to concentrate as hard as I can. I’m not going to think of anything else.” I wrote it quite a while ago and always keep it in the same spot on my desk where I can glance up and see it as I’m writing.
So, if you’re feeling distracted, try making a card for yourself. And if you have any tips on how to get those alligators in the moat and send distraction packing, please pass them along. And write on!