Focus Pocus

Sidetracked. Scattered. Random. I am all of the above,

stops, thinks for a second about where she is going from here, goes downstairs to get a banana, decides to do this as a stream-of-consciousness post and see what happens

and some days it is worse than others. The past couple of weeks I have been really driving myself nuts with this. I have raised procrastination to an art form, and I am making it worse by continually promising myself that I will do my homework early in the week, I will organize and standardize all my faculty folders, I will actually have a time management plan and stick to it. I annoy me.

checks facebook and email

My favorite motivator, FlyLady, says that procrastination is a form of perfectionism.

that didn’t count as scattered, I had to go to that website to make sure I had the URL right

I agree, a big part of why I don’t do some things is because I don’t have time to do them “perfectly.” I also tend to put off homework assignments if I can’t “see” the finished product. The class I am in right now requires us to read several chapters a week and then make a project – PowerPoint, lesson plan, handout, spreadsheet, whatever  – directly related to one or more of the chapters, and turn it in along with a written summary of all of the chapters. Some weeks I read the assigned material and think “oh, wow, I have a GREAT idea for what to do with this.” Those weeks are the ones I tend to get my homework done before the deadline.

reads another e-mail, pets cat

Most weeks, though, if I don’t have one of my brilliant ideas, I just… wait. For the inspiration fairy to bip me on the head, or something, I guess. I know my Greek mythology, I know there was no muse of homework, but still… I’m just sayin’, it’d be nice. (~Agnes, Despicable Me)

In the game Mystery Manor (which I’ve played two rounds of in the time I’ve been on the computer this afternoon “studying”) there is a big magnifying glass that moves with your cursor. It’s a hidden object type game, and everything inside of the magnifying glass area is, y’know, magnified – also lit up, in the parts of the game that are in “night” mode. The reasonable thing to do would be to sweep the cursor systematically over the room and look carefully inside the magnifying glass part, right? Yeah, right. What I actually do is sweep the cursor around randomly while my eye looks everywhere, inside and outside of the cursor, for the various objects. The cursor tool is a focus device.

goes to the tab where Blackboard was already open, navigates to the site we are supposed to be writing about this week in our discussion boards

goes downstairs to refill water bottle, decides to get a couple of cookies, has conversation with husband

I don’t remember once, ever, in my lifetime, focusing on just one thing at a time. I know a lot of people are very proud of their ability to “multitask” and I admit I am one of them. But truth be told it is a terribly inefficient way of going about daily business. I just haven’t figured out what to do about it yet.

remembers that kid texted earlier needing his social security card, goes to look for it, reads another email, debates whether to text kid now or wait until later, decides on later

My mother likes to quote the Zen proverb, “Chop wood, carry water” to me. When you are chopping wood, just chop the wood. Don’t do anything else, don’t think about anything else. When you are carrying water, JUST carry the water.

Nice idea. Anyone have any great ideas about how, exactly, one would go about doing that? Because seriously, folks, I need some help here.

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