Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we must drop everything.
But most of our days, we don’t have to be taken off-track and off-task.
Distractions, especially first thing in the morning, can derail whole days. As they did the morning I drafted this column …
When that happens I’ve learned to recognize ~ that happens only because I allow it to derail me.
Most days I don’t.
When phone call or email interrupts my morning – often nothing urgent required by either party, non-urgent, routine comments or general commentary about something we aren’t focused on – disrupts planned and needed normal flow of completing that day’s most important and/or urgent work or play, whatever I have planned to focus on that day, I used to let those distractions invade my day. Until I learned that each such distraction can be its own rabbit hole to nowhere …
There is time and place for everything. I’ve learned having a clear weekly focus (three things) and daily focus (just one) help me deal with, deflect, delay or discard most distractions very quickly. In part to keep myself on-focus but also to triage other matters so they don’t detract from whatever I am focused on accomplishing. Not unkindly or uncaring, just focused.
Age has few elements to aspire to – but one I think is so under-rated, which is better use of pausing. To pause, or not to pause, that is the question? Which leads to these:
To call, or not to call?
To reply, or not to reply?
To wait, or not to wait?
To nap, or not to nap?
There is much to be said for waiting longer, thinking more and tactically delaying, or we can feel young again and reply right away.
The trick, and I think it is a trick, is to decide very quickly (wisely too of course) which things need swift direct answers, which things need time and which should be ignored entirely …
Now here’s my level-up trick – if we can manage/control and allow what/who gets into our consciousness every day, can’t we use the same sill/discipline to work for us in allowing new things, new ideas and new people to come in?
In my experience, too often people are struggling so much on their focus and excluding disruptions that they fail to be open to magic when it comes through an open window no a gentle breeze.
Sure, it’s a juggle. Worth it.
Just as taking something or someone off our radar screen can unload an enormous weight, being open to fresh air and magic can make us feel very light on our feet too.