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February 16, 2015

DSC00032I love the movie “UP” from Disney in 2009.  The dogs get distracted by “squirrel”.  I was in a centering prayer workshop talking about the Contemplative life and praying. There were still distractions in my mind.  Part of the talk was how to “gently” bring yourself back to the sacred word and prayer.

As they talked, I could see in my mind the movie “UP” and how distracted the dogs got with the word “squirrel”.  I too get distracted.  Words and thoughts do distract me but I think other things are more of a distraction and drain in my life.  You might say “You are retired – isn’t all right to be distracted?”  The reality is that I have a lot of things I want to do: my scrapping and stamping, playing my new keyboard and re-acquainting myself with my music, reading and finding/making vegan/vegetarian dishes.  I find that I need to plan out my day and week in blocks just like when I was working so that I can start and finish projects in a timely manner.

Everyone has distractions.  I sat down over 30 minutes ago to write this.  I opened up my browser and started looking at the AOL news.  I then needed to find an email and spent some time looking at other emails.  Fortunately I didn’t look at Facebook or Pinterest before I started writing or these words would still be in my head and not here.  I think the problem is the “tyranny of the urgent or what is in front of you”.  In doing time management, they say you make your list and the top 20% is 80% of what needs to be done.  The 80% is where the distractions and time swallowing up and gobbling happens.  At the time it feels important – even urgent.

When I got up, my husband was listening to the TV news and I could get a summary and head off to do my tasks.  What is it like the word “squirrel” in UP that distracts you?  When I am mindful of what regularly distracts me, I can sometimes avoid getting dragged into time draining things.  As my list grows longer, I may have to post it so I don’t forget.  Actually I find that planning the positive is easier than avoiding the negative.  When I am present to what I need to do and do it, I do not long for other things nor find distractions calling my name.  What distracts you and how do you avoid time draining distractions?  Good luck in sticking to task and being mindful of the joy and life of the moments around you.

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