Being Productive {divine timing of distraction}

Being Productive {divine timing of distraction}

Last week I said I’d talk about following the white rabbit of distraction on purpose. I didn’t realise I was setting myself an assignment. May I just say I kicked arse! So much distraction, you wouldn’t believe.

Here’s the thing: the deadline for getting my current novel’s draft manuscript to my editor was Friday (four days ago) and, finally, today I got it done.

On more than three occasions, I heard the phrase, “Resistance is useless!” in the voice of the Vogon guard from Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Like, my muse had to latch on to my ankle and drag me, by degrees, to The End. Who knew my muse was Vogon? Maybe the spirit’s appearance and voice change to suit the depth of distraction.

The whole Easter/Spring rebirth has been overwhelmingly present over these four days of delay. So, I can’t say that the timing has been off. To the contrary, the timing was more perfect than had I planned it myself. Understand I’m a hell of a scheduler.

I realise, I’ve just insinuated that the universe is the most perfect scheduler (that’s only because it’s true).

It’s one of my distraction methods, planning. I can break tasks into tasks until they vanish completely. That is the magic of spreadsheets. I’m exceptional in my ability to plan, but with great power comes great responsibility.

I allowed myself to plan the steps that would get me to one milestone. Just one. Finish the draft. Had I not done that small amount of planning I think I’d be spending today punishing myself for failing to meet the deadline by an even greater margin.

Two of my favourite distractions: planning, and punishment. One is helpful one is not. Not all distractions are created equal. Scheduling for the terminally distracted would be a cool series of articles to create *adds to list of ideas*.

Next week I’ll talk about some of the ways we disguise punishment as constructive distraction.

Being Productive {distraction is your friend}

Being Productive {distraction is your friend}

Your level of productivity is a choice. It doesn’t matter how vehement you are in declaring that distraction is the enemy. That’s just noise: you creating more distraction. If you are a parent attempting to combine the full-time stay home thing with whatever it is you don’t want to be distracted from, that’s a whole other series of articles (which I haven’t written, let me know if you want them). However, that situation is made up of choices, too.

Distraction is one of the dearest friends you have.

This friend shines a light on parts of yourself to which you are going to pay attention. There will be stuff that triggers your emotional body. There will be stuff that challenges your physical body. There will be stuff that questions your mental state. There will be stuff that makes you invoke God/Goddess/Universe/Holy Crap! when it pokes your spirit.

What do you mean, it doesn’t sound like a friend?

What if your dearest, most darling, trusted friend – someone who has been with you your whole life, asked you to listen while they talked about something that was making them sad? You would totally be there for them. I know you would, because my readers are lovely.

You would carry their mat to the yoga studio, or walk beside them in the park; you would send them inspirational you are enough quotes, or drive them to their therapist; you would pray, chant, gaze at the moon, swear like a pirate with them.

Sounds like a best friend, to me.

Making friends with your distraction is not something you do once. It’s dots every day in your bullet journal that remind you to plug in. “No! I need to unplug,” you shout. Not so much, if your plugs are connecting you to the deeper parts of yourself.

Balance is the surest path to sustainable productivity.

I’m going to show you how I walk that path. It’s possible that some of my articles will be too hippy-dippy for you. Maybe, they will contain just enough woo-hoo and out there to tweak your smile and make you curious.

Next Tuesday, we’ll get distracted on purpose, follow the white rabbit, and hop down a few holes. See you then, Lovely!

Being Productive {isn’t the same as being busy}

Being Productive {isn’t the same as being busy}

Busy people aren’t more important than people who have a relaxed approach to their work. This is a surface view of the world. It’s a distorted picture.

Busy is an emotional state. It is a buffer between your soul and all challengers. It’s a thick, fuzzy blanket keeping you safe from woes. It holds you separate from the parts of your life that flounder. Listen carefully. You’ll hear voices, faded from calling to you.

A bored mind will latch on to distraction. Distraction offers a lifeline to avoid sinking into discomfort. That’s how the body works. Pain tells you when to stop doing the thing you are doing. Stop it right now! Discomfort is like that. It signals there is something deeper going on that needs your attention. Were you to turn towards the discomfort and apparent boredom, the discussion you would begin with yourself would be anything but boring. The key is discovering ways to begin those conversations. There is more than one to be had. Taking personal responsibility and the ability to say no are learned skills. How much practise have you had?

Any distraction is a behaviour of your mind. Things don’t distract you. Devices that stream the internet to you whenever you want a fix, included. Being distracted is a way of organising your life so that you don’t have to be responsible to yourself. It’s insidious; you are going to believe it almost every time. Your distraction has been personalised over a lifetime and knows you on intimate levels. Distraction has access to a library of stories that you don’t share with anyone. It has a front row seat to every nanosecond of the show. It has the ability to replay, on ultra slow motion, the parts you try to ignore. Making distraction your best friend might be the best thing you ever do to support your productivity.

Creative work may look inefficient on the surface, and that could be true. Measuring the progress of your creative work requires you to define what your goal is. You need to understand why it’s important to you. Your why is the bedrock of your work. If you’re attempting to anchor your creative endeavours to shifting sands and whimsical notions, they’ll always be works in progress. Know what success looks like for you. Celebrate when you achieve it. Does your why motivate you to dig into the guts of your work? Does it inspire you to explore and learn, and play as you do so? Ask yourself some honest questions; answer them just as honestly. You have all this power. Use it!

Over the coming weeks, I’ll tease apart these ideas about productivity. Next week I’ll be talking about making friends with your distraction.

See you on Tuesday, lovelies.