Saturday, May 08, 2010

Curious about Distraction(s): Our Lives Are Filled with Distractions. How Do You Deal with Yours?

Definition of Distraction : The act of distracting; a drawing apart; separation. That which diverts attention; a diversion. A diversity of direction; detachment. State in which the attention is called in different ways; confusion; perplexity.

You can always find a distraction if you're looking for one.” - Tom Kite, American athlete

Yes, in this fast paced world of today, with so much to learn, experience, and enjoy, there is no dearth of distractions. And, I feel that Tom Kite is totally correct about the ease of finding a distraction. Could it be that a distraction helps us procrastinate?

I also feel that those people – like myself – who have a plethora of interests and a deep curiosity about life, learning, and the new discoveries taking place daily, have to guard against being distracted on a regular basis. We can’t embrace every “bright shiny object” that comes our way. If we stop to try every new idea and strategy, we will find that we are always busy, but not accomplishing much – if anything.

The best advice I have received for dealing with – or avoiding – distractions is to set aside two hour blocks of time to work on the important project(s). Our brains can successfully function for two hours. Then we should take a short 15 minute break. Walk, drink some water, do some Yogic breathing, and then come back to the next two hours. You will be amazed by the number of tasks completed by the end of the day.

I did not find a huge number of quotations, but the ones I did find are extremely interesting:
  • I think there's always a call for people who are bucking the norm. But I don't expect it to happen now because I think that more than ever the entertainment industry is trying to serve as a distraction, to keep people from thinking too hard.” - Guy Picciotto, American musician
  • If there was a distraction I'd get up and jump out the window. I was quite out of hand. In schools like that I don't think they expect that girls are going to behave in such an outrageous fashion.” - Diane Cilento, Australian actress
  • It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.” - Mark Lloyd, American public servant
  • Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself.” - Marilyn vos Savant, American writer
  • I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” - Hilaire Belloc, English poet
  • Acclaim is a distraction.” - James Broughton, American director
  • Art is the fatal net which catches these strange moments on the wing like mysterious butterflies, fleeing the innocence and distraction of common men.” - Giorgio de Chirico, Greek artist

And, a couple more for fun:

I think the best thing I can do is to be a distraction. A husband lives and breathes his work all day long. If he comes home to more table thumping, how can the poor man ever relax?” - Jackie Kennedy, American First Lady

At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammars and dictionaries are excellent for distraction.” - Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet

So, what are your biggest distractions and how do you deal with them? Let us hear from you.