I've never made any secret about my apparent lack of focus. The effortless way I get distracted. I make it look so easy, but it's actually taken a lifetime of dedication to leave so many projects unfinished, so many ideas half-baked. My family has adjusted well to my condition, as illustrated by this little story:
My son and I were in a hurry to get out of Target on one of our school supply junkets. He pulled me by the hand past the kitchen utensils, and as he did, he made an observation and issued a command all in one sentence:
"Wow, that cheese looks fake keep walking."
Man, I didn't even have a chance to glance around for the fake-looking cheese he was talking about! It was disappointing because I really wanted to see fake cheese in that moment. But no! He yanked me along toward the check-out line without a shred of sympathy, because he knew I'd get distracted and forget why I was in a hurry.
Perhaps you, like me, suffer from this malady. But I take comfort in reminding myself that Laura Ingalls never would have made it in this multi-tasking, dizzying world either. So much is thrown at us every day: images, news stories, fashion do's and don'ts, children's activities, work, cell phones....is it any wonder that we are victimized by all the distractions? Yea, even abused by them?
I truly believe that deep down, I am a uni-tasker, stuck in a multi-tasking world. I function so much better when I can focus on one thing at a time...but really, when does THAT happen? There's always so much going on around me, I often feel I am caught in a swirling vortex of diversions.
Today's Small Thing is to eliminate some distractions. Don't worry, I'm not talking about doing it ALL DAY, although it would be an interesting experiment. Turn off FOX News coverage of everything that's wrong in the world. Skip having the TV as "background noise" for half an hour. Mute the radio. OK, you can mute my playlist, too, if you must. Take the ipod out of your ears and turn your cell phone to "silent." Stop surfing the net.
You see, even though we might not function well with all the distractions going on, we've become addicted to them. We're used to not being in control of what bombards us, and we're operating at half-effectiveness because we're thinking of (and doing) too many things at once.
Make a point of focusing on one task (or person) at a time. You might even try setting a timer to help a child wait a few minutes for a cup of juice while you finish a job. Or, let the job wait while you focus on the child's needs.
Instead of hopping from one thing to another, try and savor the process of working steadily at something. Just for a little while.
POINTS: 40 Focusing is a skill that we can get better at if we practice! I'm going to turn off the kitchen TV while I do dishes today, and I will try and savor the work that comes with the blessing of being a mom.
What will you focus on today? How will you eliminate some distractions?