Danger of Distraction

This is not the blog I started to write an hour back. I was about to write on something totally different but then I had the distraction of picking up the order that Milk Basket delivered.

They have no process for packing !! Jaggery pouches get put together with frozen peas or cheese or dosa batter. They pack vegetables with dry rations. Their use of plastic bags rather than recycling their delivery bags irritates me every time I see them. I had to wipe dry the dry ration pouches and leave them out in the open. Also had to convince my mother not to re-arrange the groceries 😁.

I had made some fritters last evening and re-heated them to have as a snack with coffee. Didn’t end there …. some oil had spilled into the Air Oven’s bottom tray and I started cleaning it. I have run out of roasted peanuts and that’s why I cleaned the Air Oven immediately because I wanted to roast the peanuts.

Peanuts were stored in my grocery box and the distraction continued because I realised I have run out of Moong Dal. I made a note on my shopping list. The shopping list had two other items that I had forgotten to order yesterday. I do grocery shopping only on Fridays because otherwise am spending hours everyday looking at the Milk Basket App or some other website 🙄.

We also had a major discussion on what to make for our first meal (we eat twice)… Amma, Krishnan and I had decided on something last night but wanted to change it, hence the high level discussion. Its not funny.

We spend hours debating on what to make because the only person who eats anything made at home is Krishnan. My mother and I are forever bickering because I don’t like repetition and Amma loves eating idli and dosa every single day. In fact all my Mamas and Periyammas can eat Idli and Dosa every single day. I know Varada Mama is reading this blog and probably asking Mami to make idlis in the morning 😁. See, there comes a distraction again.

And just like that an hour went by !!!!!

Working From Home and Distraction

Growing up as an only child, I was not disturbed at all while I spent hours reading. I got married into a family of book lovers so no one interfered when I picked up a book. At work, I was very focussed and again as I reached senior levels, the interruptions were controlled. My time was under my control because I could structure it as per my work priorities.

All that changed when I quit full time corporate work in 2015.

Working from home has taken a toll on my focus. I feel like a dog chasing its own tail and am forever in the zone of “catching up” 😡. Not a happy space to be in for someone who always had time for everything.

A distraction is dangerous because it disrupts your focus.

distraction - focus - bruce lee

Am sure the pandemic has taken a toll on everybody because of this exact reason. You start the day with a plan and everything just falls apart because the milk curdles and you have run out of milk powder. The coffee or tea can’t flow because you don’t like them without milk. Just when the call starts, the door bell rings. You wake up and read something on Twitter that outrages you. Facebook brings you deals for things you don’t need yet you spend time looking through the website. And on and on and on till its time to go to bed.

Handling Distraction

I am reading this amazing book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. He has a fantastic hack to deal with this. He says earmark places in your home for certain things. Eat on the dining table but don’t bring your laptop there to work. The living room couch cannot double up as your workspace. Even if you live in a single room, just mark the place where you do one activity and don’t allow for scope creep.

I would add one other thing on top of this suggestion from James Clear. Fix timings for work and don’t budge. If the milk curdles, leave it. Have black tea and coffee right through the day ! I just stopped fixing my groceries when I realised that I was getting distracted. Have been sitting at the work desk and writing this blog. The phone is on “silent” and Amma taking care of responding to the door bell as Krishnan is attending an online training program.

Multitasking - distraction

Multitasking is a myth. Focus is key. Distraction is a danger. Capisce ?

Some of my earlier blogs on this topic – Distractions !! and Interruptions !

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