As a participator of the online world, I am often easily distracted by my, cough, ability to multitask. I have a browser tab open for Gmail, a tab for realtor.com so I can look in different neighborhoods at “possibles” for the move (!! one of the houses we liked has been sold! 😦 ), a tab for this post, and an iPages doc open for a story I’m writing. Oh, and of course I have to pop on twitter. 🙂
This is great and fun and encompassing. BUT, I do not make a ton of progress at any one thing in the space of, say, half an hour unless I shut everything down and focus.
This morning, we spent an hour packing, the boys and I. Each of them were given an area of responsibilty (BG’s bookshelves, LG’s townhouse furniture, etc.) and a box and told to have at it.
My job was supposed to be the linen closet in the hallway. Supposed to be. Because, of course, I didn’t actually get to FINISH it. Yet.
The boys, though, were focused and got their sections packed up nice and fast. So quickly did they work that BG got to pack up another box of books (he still has PLENTY to read, don’t worry) and clean the bathroom in the hour we had of work time this morning. LG got the furniture packed and went through bags of things collected from his sleeping place, sorting to “keep” and “toss.”
Mom, though, was not able to focus. Between teaching the guys how to best keep their boxes stuffed (through the judicious use of packing material) and answering other questions, it took me an entire hour just to sort through “keep” from “toss” in my linen closet. Sigh.
The same thing is true of writing. If I can focus, I am productive. When I allow my attention to be called away by email, twitter, fun research avenues and, oh yes, BLOGGING… My productivity goes way down. So I have a self-imposed drill I use upon occasion called “Compelled Performance.” When I do this, I time myself in short increments (10 – 30 minutes) where I tell everyone (including my children) to leave me alone unless they’re bleeding and let me write.
I can get hundreds of words done in every single one of these CP experiences.
But then…the rest of the world calls and my friends make me smile and there’s a GREAT story to read…
I really need to focus. 🙂