*This post originally appeared on one of my old blogs, on March 11, 2016. I will be moving the blog posts over there to sagewolfsong.com gradually.*
You start out your day on a roll, right? You have your time blocked out and by 9 a.m., You've worked out, read, meditated, cleaned out your email and... What do you mean it's 11 a.m. already?!? I was only supposed to be on Facebook for 15 minutes. You know how it is: You scroll through the family's posts, catch a few funnies from friends, post something witty and get on with your day. But you've been there for 2 hours instead.
"But you have to understand!" I can hear your inner ADD, info addict whining in your brain (yes, indeed, she whines!), "There was this awesome article about vinegar, and a cute cake decorating video, and those kittens! How could I skip over the adorable kittens?!?" There is a subtle hint at guilt for the implication that you could possibly pass up the cute kitten video.
About now, you're feeling horribly guilty. Your inner boss lady is getting ready to break out the flying monkeys on this one, because now you're behind on your to-do list, you have commitments that now have to be rescheduled because that project is behind, and you can't meet with a client on time, because you don't have his materials ready, work has piled up and...
Yeah. I've done this, too, blew a whole morning. Big time. So, my writing didn't get done. Client was grateful for the reschedule and the to-do list will get done, if a little later and in a slightly different order than originally planned. I remind myself that I'll get there. Only... After I take a really deep breath and park the whiner and the boss in their separate office spaces and calm down.
In that moment, you can make a choice to freak out, get cranky and totally blow off your family today, surrendering to workaholic tendencies most likely get distracted again whilst you "should" all over yourself and make yourself sick. Or, you can choose to sit back and examine your actions, find the lesson and restructure your plans so you don't do this again (at least not when the intention is to focus on work stuff).
I choose compassion for myself in those moments. I go back to scrawling my writing on notepads, longhand, phone turned off, laptop shut down. The only thing running might be my music.
I've taken the advice of several experts on success: I do one thing at a time. No distractions, no excuses, no opportunities for shiny things to jump out at me and distract my inner ADD whiner or get that inner boss lady riled up. I'm working. After all, the apple cider vinegar post and the cute kittens will still be there on Facebook, waiting to play with my ADD whiner when I'm ready to goof off and have some non-writing fun, right?*Update: I still stick to the "one thing at a time" principle, for the most part. I do meet up with my good buddy Allie McCormack a few times a week in SecondLife, and we have work sessions, where we share our Plan for the day or week, and then hold each other accountable to get things done. We take breaks to brainstorm or bounce ideas off each other, and sometimes, we just have slow conversations that take hours because we're only responding when we need to look at something different for 60 seconds. This works really well for both of us.*