As you can probably tell by the way that I often start posts with a 100+ word barely-in-the-same-area-code-as-actual-post-topic tangential ramble, I occasionally suffer from an inability to get the point. Which is to say, my blog posts are never likely to be used in a middle school English composition class, because I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to state your main topic in, like, in the first paragraph.
In fact, of the 800+ published posts I’ve written so far for Puddintopia, I believe I’ve declared the main topic right away maybe, um, five times? Definitely no more than seven. Ten tops.
So, why is that?
Well, first off, I’m not a very good at following the Golden Sacred Rules of Blogging. Second, I think it’s safe to blame my 12th Grade English teacher. Because, really, don’t we all blame our 12th grade English teachers for something? At least this is contextually appropriate.
All kidding aside, though, one of my biggest problems is and always has been focus. When I comes to that, I’m the modern day word-slinging equivalent of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. I have days when you could set fire to my pinky toes while hitting me in the ‘pits with a 10,000 watt electrified cattle prod (oh, come off it, we all know you have that 10k-watt shocker stick for Saturday night) and I’d still keep my mind on the topic at hand. But other days, the Hyde days, I can’t half complete a thought about how yummy and delicious doughnuts would be if they were…were…um…
Hey…is that the new Galaxy S Infinity Unobtainable? Does it really have an app to order your favorite pizza by voice command and include a built-in defibrillator? Damn, I bet that sucks the batteries…
Man, batteries. They’re the worst thing about being a parent that no on tells you about. Seriously, batteries are key to your existence on Earth for your first 10 years of life, and then you don’t need them at all except for the occasional flashlight and smoke detector checks for the next two decades. But BAM, have yourself a few bambinos and pretty soon you’re known as “Danny Duracell” at the 7-11 for making emergency trips at 2 AM because those AAA’s in junior’s nightlight/radio/NSA-surveillance station are good for about 10 full minutes of continuous use.
Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, distractions. See, modern life is full of them. And while there’s something enervating in the knowledge that I spent yesterday multitasking like an Executive Board Member Work-From-Home Mom with no childcare and a successful Etsy shop selling hand-made Little House on the Prairie costumes from home-spun materials on the side*, eventually, trying to keep track of all that at once is just too much to manage. Before long, then, my brain breaks down into that awful jello salad Aunt Edna always brings for Christmas and I end up acting like a puppy at the park for the first time.
Ooo…ooo…gotta pee gotta pee…oh, hey, what’s the flying thing? It’s pretty. OH! Do you smell that? It’s smells like me but not like me. Hey! look ! bigger me! I should sniff that butt! Oh oh oh! Another flying thing, but this one chirps. And what are those two-legged running things? Ooo…ooo…gotta pee gotta pee…oh, hey….
Yeah, the point is that some days, no matter how good my intentions, I can’t get past being the little puppy. And they only way to beat that is really set my mind to gotta pee, then close my eyes and block everything else out.
And sometimes, if I’m really lucky, the focus returns.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t just my problem, either. I‘m betting you go through this too. So what do you do when you’ve got a few things that have to get done but lack the attention span for anything more than watching old Whitesnake videos on Youtube? How do you block out all the shiny distractions and get your focus on?
Well, assuming you’ve learned to close twitter, that is.
If not, you might want to start there.
*Well, okay, so maybe that’s a special breed of multi-tasker. The Gold Standard. Still, the rest of have to do it too, just maybe to a lesser degree.