Diary of an Inveterate Distractee

Wednesday, 22nd of January.

For 2020 I’ve sent myself some goals which my 2019 mindset would have set with no realistic expectation of achieving. Aim high, get to 60% which is significantly higher than I would have achieved had I not set the ridiculously high goals in the first place.

But this year I’m going to try something new to me. I’m going to give this positive mindset business a shot. I am going to achieve my 12 mega ambitious creative writing goals this year. If you’re interested in seeing them you can take a peek here. Of course, you are — see, that positive mindset is working already.

Something’s gotta give right? Otherwise, I would’ve achieved these goals years ago. I’ve already scheduled out my day but I do that every day and I get to an hour and a half of deep work and the big shadow of distraction descends, ripping me playfully but brutally away from my master task.

In my own heroes journey, the threshold guardians to my resolve come in the form of distractions. Some external and some internal. Some avoidable, perhaps, others need simply to be managed.

Today I track my progress against the threshold guardians of modern life; the attention span.

It’s 6 am and I’m the first up. Yes! I should definitely aim for this every day. A cup of tea doesn’t count, does it? Surely not. My phone is on absolute silence but nobody calls at this hour anyway and I’ve switched all notifications off.

An hour and a half pass blissfully before the first sound of the house wakes me and I’m nearing the end of my outline. A whole day early. Go me! But then…

Is that a cue to check Linked In? I think it must be.

Argh. My attention span is like my puppy when she’s out of concentration. It takes effort before I manage to reign it back in. Since it’s already broken I may as well check;

my website stats and Facebook and I’d better double-check that the word inveterate means what I think it does. It does. Then I may as well check my Medium stats and, oh my, there’s an article from Thomas Oppong in my feed that I stop to read.

It’s now past 8 am and I’m onto the obligatory social conventions such as talking to my boyfriend and playing (briefly) with the puppy. Time speeds up from now on and I’m still working on my outline when I should be onto this article.

9 am I need to take my pet out. I’m tempted for dramatic purposes to call her neglected but it’s not true. The only neglected thing in my household is space.

We go for a nice walk and I get a good 25 minutes of concentration out of her. Come Nyx you need to keep up with me. I can do it for 90minutes but I suppose she is a puppy and I’m an adult, and a human so that’s an unfair comparison.

11 am is my cut off for my own projects today and it is 11.13. I’ll have time to cycle to my networking group and attach my business head for the day. 7 minutes before I really have to get my bag packed and teeth brushed and all that.

Direct Lost Time today — I’d say half an hour off schedule in total.

Opportunity Cost — Finishing my script outline a day early and fixing the creative pages on my website.

Lessons learned — nothing good comes through in Linked In first thing in the morning and tomorrow I must push on and write another day. Also, maybe if I’m nearly hitting my deadlines with distractions perhaps it’s time to tighten them up while keeping the positive mindset.

On the upside I still published this article. Maybe those distractions aren’t so inveterate after all.

How do you fare distraction wise? I’d love to know and any tips you have for shutting out the world during peak creativity. Drop me a line if you feel like sharing. sarah@sarahthomas-storyteller.com

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Written by

Storyteller, ex playwright (produced), award winning screenwriter, always writing. Creating story-based content for businesses. London based but heart in Europe

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