Spring is beginning to bud. All over the world animals will soon wake up from their winter’s nap to yawn and stretch, eagerly anticipating their breakfast. People emerge from their dwellings anxious to get outside and into the fresh air, between raindrops and beautiful bright colors begin popping out everywhere. Not to mention getting to go to work and come home in the daylight once more. It’s wonderful but also pretty damn distracting!
Usually, the excitement of the Christmas and New Year holidays, blend into the first quiet and dark cloudy months of the new year, and I’m in full-on recovery mode. However, the second Spring begins to show it’s beautiful petals, I want to be out in it to watch the rebirth. As I write, I start to think about all the rooms that need Spring cleaning, clothes that were supposed to be donated a year ago and gardens that look like something out of horror movie, full of horrible, prickly dead things. I need to change out lightbulbs and fire alarm batteries, wait do we do that anymore? Maybe just test them. I don’t know, I say I’ll do it every year then forget.
Wait a minute, I was talking about distractions, yes! I find this time of year really hard because I’m constantly thinking about all the things I need to do but don’t because they get too overwhelming, and I’d rather be writing.
Here’s an example… I woke up yesterday, intent on cleaning the house and organizing my week. I reached for my phone and checked my email. I should’ve gotten up then and there, but no. One hundred and forty-nine emails. Awck! So, I spent about forty-five minutes going through them, answering them and uploading requests. I stepped down from my bed onto the clothes I stripped off the night before (or earlier that morning) at two am, too tired to throw them in the hamper. Shit… laundry! Okay, so, I threw the clothes into my hamper (which was already overflowing with other clothes) and was about to heave the thing to the laundry room when I saw my toothbrush. Okay! This is a grade-A necessity! I brushed my teeth and took the first glimpse of myself in the mirror. Is that another wrinkle? What is going on with my hair? Deep sigh! My phone had a small seizure and I received three more emails.
Damn. I decided to go down to my office because it’s just easier to type on the keyboard, and my glasses were down there, as I realized I’d been walking around in a blur. I entered through the door to my creative sanctum and saw all the notes, papers and pictures I’d been working on for the book, social media, and my newsletter. To me, it was systematic, organization of research and productivity. My husband, Jeff, who’d been up for two hours, was completely dressed and groomed, and sipped on his third cup of coffee, came up behind me and kissed the back of my head, saying, “How the hell do you work in all this mess?”
“It’s not a mess,” I retorted. “I’m a well-oiled machine and I know where everything is.” Then I took his coffee. Just being in my office, incited all my characters to come to life and start speaking to me all at once, in a vain attempt to be heard.
I sat down and decided I’d write 10,000 words when I noticed the tree outside my window that was budding and smiled. I looked around my office. Okay, it really could use a cleanup. I got to work thinking all the while, that a clean office uncluttered the mind, and that I’d be able to get so much more writing done after the chore was completed. Seeing my untouched coffee I took a sip and discovered it was freezing cold. What the hell? I looked down and my computer who eyed me back with superiority, sniffed, “I knew you weren’t going to work on me today.” I glanced up at the clock on the wall and noticed it had been two hours and twenty-seven minutes since I got up! My computer chirped my preferred submarine echo sound as I got a new email.
Damn it! Okay, time to get organized. I reached into my desk for a pad of paper, I’ll just write down everything I have to do and slowly work through the items, one by one. I noticed the pad of paper already had a list scribbled on it, that was two pages long. Well, that just saves time, doesn’t it? I decided optimistically, and I added the new items to the list.
“Jeny,” Jeff called from upstairs where he’d gone to pack for the business trip he’d be taking today. “I don’t have any underwear.”
“Shit,” I muttered to myself, but called out, “Yes, I was actually just coming up to do the laundry, right now.” I sprinted up the stairs two at a time and collected the heavy basket, before dumping it on the floor of the laundry room, and returning it to the bedroom. I helped Jeff with some of his outfits before turning to head back downstairs when I noticed our bed. I should change that while I’m here too. So, I stripped the bed and brought the sheets to add to the other laundry, which I realized I hadn’t sorted or started. Determined now, I remedied the situation and started the washer and dryer, folded the three clean loads already thrown on top of the dryer, collected all the hangers and put everything away! All right… I’m on a roll! I cleaned the bathrooms, swept and mopped the floors, took out the garbage, then dusted and straightened the picture frames. Perfection! A neighbor came by to return something and asked how I keep my house so clean and organized all the time. I looked at my hubby, who snorted out a laugh. I narrowed my eyes at him and replied, “Sometimes, I have no idea.” Which in essence is and was correct.
I walked back into my office and once more gazed at the computer, which was now in full belly laughing mode, as it mocked me with two more deep-sea bellows. My stomach rumbled and I looked at the clock. It was two in the afternoon! WHAT THE HELL! Fine, I stomped over angrily to the refrigerator, prepared my lunch and took it into my office. I couldn’t write while I was eating, so I clicked onto Youtube where I saw someone had created a video of how, Game of Thrones, season eight, should’ve been done. I clicked on it, as I munched away, and that video led to other videos, like Best TV News Bloopers, Robin Williams, Coronavirus and Britain’s Got Talent winners. Eventually, I popped out the other side, after I’d watched Susan Boyle give a major middle finger to the skeptical crowd, that thought she wouldn’t be able to sing. I yelled out to everyone to leave me alone, that I was writing and got to work. I wrote in the zone for four straight hours, when I realized it was dinner and time to be with the family. Finally, around one-thirty am I dragged myself to bed but woke up this morning… I’ve had one hundred and thirty-two messages…
So, I was wondering what all of you do to overcome distraction and procrastination?