Distraction

It’s the curse of today’s world that every moment is filled with a thousand possible decisions. There’s the myriad wonders of the Internet, the forests of the app store on your particular phone or device of choice, the possibilities on the TV, on the book shelf, or in the car and drive ten minutes to the nearest place to explore. It’s so hard to take out the noise and focus on what’s really important.

I have problems with this. Will continue to have problems with it. Despite my mind knowing and understanding exactly what I need to do to progress towards the ‘life’ that I’d like, I undermine myself on a daily basis.

There are dozens of self-improvement blogs out there that lay out all the pitfalls of distractions, of getting swept up in the mental satisfaction of achieving your dreams without actually doing the hard work to get there. It all makes sense when you read it. As though you’ve internalized this wise guru’s comments about cutting off the wifi on your computer, making a daily checklist and sticking to it, plotting out your steps long term and running with a plan. That’s all wonderful.

But in the moment, now, that’s the hard part. Sitting your butt in the chair, or walking it to a coffee shop and after doing that declaring that you’re now going to try and pull some masterpiece together is nice in theory, but hard in practice. The brain wants that quick dopamine rush and it’s going to do whatever it can to get it.

So I struggle through. And I’m guessing you probably do too. I’m not great at fending off distractions – I don’t cut off wifi, for example. I forgive and forget my actions too easily – letting myself off the hook for doing work that needs doing by claiming (to myself, silently, in my head) that it’s fine not to do it now. That reading a book, or playing a game or something is OK and besides you’re tired and you deserve a break. That might be true, but dammit, I’m going to be tired all the time. That’s part of working a stressful job. If I wait till I’m in perfect shape to write, it’s never going to be written.

So here I am, blog, ignoring the distractions to pound out this post. After I hit publish, I’m going to crack open a victory beer and pound out some of the novel. Even if my brain doesn’t want me to.

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