This usually happens when it’s something that I don’t want to do. For example, just recently I needed to write some reports that were due the following day to my clinic supervisor. But as I sat down to finish my task, I just couldn’t take the thought off of a box of photos and cards. I had told myself I was going to organize it into memory albums.
Getting Off Task
The thought of the memory albums sat in my mind for so long that they felt like an itch I needed to scratch immediately. So I got distracted. I shut off my computer and set about the task of organizing my album. I had promised myself that the task would only take 15-20 minutes and that it counted as a well-deserved break.
Well, that break turned into 2 hours of sorting photos, reading cards, and recalling old memories. And I’ve got to tell you, those two hours felt great! That was until I closed my (now impeccably organized) memory album and opened my computer. My heart sank as I realized that if I had stayed on task I could have been done with my work and been getting ready for bed. Instead, I was going to be going to bed late to work on my reports. I would most likely be tired the next morning.
I find that the easiest thing in the world to do is to become distracted. We all do it in a number of different ways. Some people spend the day on social media, some people get a sudden urge to organize, and others use less adaptive distraction methods like drugs or alcohol. Distractions take our mind off of the task at hand and provide temporary relief. But the truth is that after the distraction is over, at best, nothing has changed. At worst, things have gotten worse.
Lately, when I find that I am going to fall into the trap of distractions, I read one of my favorite Proverbs. Hopefully, one day it’ll stick and I’ll finally realize that the laundry can wait!
Let your eyes look straight in front of you, and keep looking at what is in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure (Proverbs 4:25-26, NLV).
Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.