I’m not paying attention lately. And it’s costing me time.
Here’s what it feels like:
I’m constantly five steps ahead in my mind…everywhere. All the time. For every attempt to reign in my brain, there is another attempt that looks like this:
While driving: This car is filthy & desperately needs a wash. There’s surely an epic line at Delta Sonic. Hmmmm…what day next week I can spare 3 hours to wait in line? –> mentally pick through my schedule, drive right by local, small car wash with no line & cheaper prices. Poke s-l-o-w-l-y through a Valley neighborhood to figure out how to circle back to it. Waste 15 minutes.
While running errands: I have 15 minutes to get out of this medical building & meet my client. Here’s the elevator! Yay! I can deal with these 17 text messages while I ride down. –> get in, pick up phone, forget to press which floor I want. Wind up on an endless ride up & down the building because it can’t get to the ground floor because…other people. Waste 10 minutes.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Not only am I wasting time. I’m getting downright dangerous.
I noticed today I gave a cursory glance to my right at a stop sign. Then I turned left. THEN it registered in my brain that there was a car at that stop sign who clearly had the right of way.
Oh, God. I’ve turned into THAT jackass.
Sigh. It’s time to admit I have a problem.
I’m always thinking about what’s next. What’s on the list? What I can cross off?
How I’m gonna get it all done?
I’m scattered and frazzled. Hardly present. Frayed at the edges. Short on time. Distracted. Living in the future.
Here’s why: I’m terrified I’m going to forget something. My brain is like a sieve.
So I must do it NOW. Or make a plan NOW. Or problem solve NOW. And this is distracting me from what’s most important in front of me.
I know I’m not alone because many of my clients struggle with this.
Maybe you do, too! But I’m over myself and want to get this under control.
SO here’s my personal February theme: Be. Here. Now.
But! But! HOW????
What about all the things I need to get done?
What about my brain which seems to be full of holes?
How am I going to deal unless I think of all the things all the time? AND take immediate action?
A ongoing Distraction List. I learned this strategy recently at a networking event from efficiency consultant, Deborah Cabral.
It’s easy to implement: when you think of something you want to do, research, explore, etc., you write it down on a Distraction List, instead of getting distracted by it.
Here’s why it works: when your brain knows the ‘thing’ is written down somewhere, it can RELAX. The brain knows you can always go back and find it.
My strategy? I’ve got 2 choices: if available, use the the notebook I always have with me. If not possible, just add it to an ongoing list in my phone.
“Siri! Take a note, girl!” [Actually, my Siri is a sexy Australian dude.]
- “Siri! Take a note. Order David Sedaris tickets.
- “Ask Meenu for her lentil recipe.”
- “Convince John to take me to San Francisco with him in March.”
At least I know it’s somewhere and to retrieve when I’m ready. And present.
Ready to join me in my Be. Here. Now. Campaign for February? (Come on, February is only 28 days!!)
I’m in & will report on my progress. Would love to have your company!
Got suggestions on how to overcome the strong pull of a busy brain? Be generous & share!