Distractions. They were all over the place. Catching me unawares. Blindsighting me on a perfectly normal morning. When all I really wanted to do was chalk out my tasks for the day, make as little noise as possible and get on with it. I’d think I had it all sorted. And that I was in control. My time, my choices, its how I get my work done.
When, boom! The internet. A news item. A conversation. A food blog. A random thought. Leads to another thought. And another. And so on. A message from the husband. A scary deadline.
Productivity – 0. Distractions – 288632. And then some.
This is pretty much how every day of the last 6 odd weeks (or maybe more, who knows?) of the fag end of my time at work, would begin. The harder I fought the distractions, the harder they came down on me. Extra attempts to focus, seemed only to make me that much more vulnerable. The more I would fret about wasted time and incomplete work, the more deadlines would evade me.
Of late, though, I’ve discovered a new thing about distractions. They disappear. When you’re really engrossed in what you’re doing, no matter how tedious, if you’re minds in it, no matter how mindless, its possible to reach that point where nothing else matters.
Last week, I helped frost and decorate 200 cupcakes. Another day, I sliced close to 30 lemons. One afternoon, we had a barrage of Chinese exchange students. About 20 of them, none of whom spoke English. For a few minutes, there was panic. But we managed it all. No slip ups. No glitches.
When you’re doing what you are like your life depends on it, distractions? They cease to exist. They vaporise like remnants of smoke. They scoot out the back door like unwanted guests. Never to return.
I’m re-discovering a feeling I had long forgotten. Of losing myself in something that absorbs and engages me to the very core. Its one of the advantages of delving into a deep-seated desire, no strings attached, I suppose. Its an addictive high. And now that I have tasted it, I cannot seem to get enough of it.