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Distracted Living (uh, what was I saying again?)

Posted by Nora | Thursday August 18, 201111 comments

I’m writing this cross-legged on the couch with a half-eaten plate of chicken and caprese salad in front of me, waiting for my deep conditioner to soak in, watching Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, and listening to my boyfriend tell me about his soccer game.

As the zillion open tabs on my browser window betrays, I’m also looking up ideas for his tiny kitchen, checking my email, reading comments on ChickAdvisor, buying my niece her very first backpack (complete with monogramming), looking for concert tickets, reading my Tumblr dashboard, checking my bank account balance and planning a last-minute birthday celebration for my boyfriend because I am the worst girlfriend ever.

I’m struggling to finish brilliant sentences (like this one!) as I type while attempting to hold a conversation with a person I love and who truly, truly interests me.

I’m distracted.

And not just now, although ooooooh have you seen the new LL Bean Signature Collection? No-- not just now, but also when I’m at work, trying to...you know, you know what I mean? What was I saying? Sorry, I just got a text. Plus it’s my turn on Words with Friends.

Not to worry, I do follow the law of Oprah and my car is a No-Phone Zone. But there are so many other distractions! The empty Pellegrino bottle rolling around the backseat, the lunch I forgot I packed this morning that has now gone bad, the people who think it’s totally cool to forgo crosswalks and just dart across the street in the black of night wearing dark clothing, and... whoops! I missed my turn.

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to multitask, but lately it’s obvious that I should place that pride somewhere else, like on my ability to do almost five push-ups in a row.

What is it that drives this mania toward overdoing it? Could I make promises to simplify? To buy myself a nice, old-fashioned weekly planner in the spirit of back-to-school and focus on doing just one thing at a time? Sure, but it’s hardly realistic.

Are you as distracted as I am? How do you keep yourself in check?
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on August 22, 2011  briannauk  765 said:

Welcome to my life! I am so distracted. I'm suppose to be studying for my Interior Design licensure exam and cannot focus. I instead turn my attention to my new blog, twitter, shopping online, reading and playing these fun contests on ChickAdvisor, paying bills, making phone calls, working full time, taking care of a house, a car and myself! haha!!!

on August 19, 2011  jskim07  50 said:

@Becky, clearly my sister from another mister. I dual screen ALL the time at school. I wish I could bring an external monitor to work too!

One only becomes more productive at school, for everything that they refused to do when on break. :P

on August 19, 2011  Becky  13,128 said:

LOL @ Jenni I'm the same way! When I'm studying, anything - and I mean anything - is a riveting distraction! I can't sleep? Well put a school book in front of me and watch me zonk off. Suddenly cleaning my room is fun when I have an assignment to do. Sigh. Glad I'm not the only one :-)

As for being distracted multi tasker: I'm a major multi tasker. For example, at work I have 2 screens. One is hosting my chickadvisor / youtube / leisure reading and the other has actual work, meanwhile I also have either music or a talk show playing in my ear in the background, and I might also have a book on my lap. I don't think I'm distracted though. I find if I'm not doing 10things at once I get super anxious and that's distracting. I have an old fashioned spiral notebook in which I write "To Do" and a list of stuff I have to get done in the day. Weird huh?

on August 18, 2011  jskim07  50 said:

I am very easily distracted. Not so much when I'm at work, but more during school. Random outside things always become more interesting when you have a book in front of you!

on August 18, 2011  Nora said:

@mamaluv i love your husband's saying, i'm going to keep that in the back of my mind...somewhere.

on August 18, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

My hubby always says that multitasking is just another word for doing 10 things with 10% effort (and often terrible results). I think multitasking has become such a buzzword that we deliberately load ourselves up to the umpteenth degree because we think we're supposed to... and then we're surprised that things don't quite work out.

I multitask too, but I'm trying to keep less on my plate. I keep writing out lists or filling in my agenda (an actual book b/c the pen-to-paper writing makes it stick better in my head than any online to-do list), but half the time I lose my lists.

on August 18, 2011  TammyK  1,073 said:

I am always distracted as well! I blame it on the technology nowadays. It's been really damaging to my studies though because it's hard for me to concentrate when I do schoolwork and school's really important to me right now. I'm always thinking about like 10 different things at the same time, plus checking my blackberry and emails, and etc.

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