Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Distraction Attraction

I worked in corporate America for a long time and it amazed me every day when I would get a 'nudge' email asking if I had read my email. You may know the email. The one asking if you had read the email sent 30 minutes prior. Which meant there was something someone needed immediately regardless of what you might be working on in the moment. Those emails.

I'm a scatterbrain (I believe it's now called being ADHD). When I was a kid my dad was constantly saying that stuff would go in one ear and out the other.

Truth? I am easily distracted. I'm not saying that lightly. I'll stop in the middle of peeing to write something down I may need to buy/do/call/make later in the day. I keep a notepad in the car to write things down, which is not the smartest, while driving. In the middle of a sentence I'll stop to mention something else I want to talk about later. When I get a puzzled look from my long-suffering conversation-companion I usually say, "Wha? You aren't in my head with me? You can't hear the cacophony going on in there? It's raucous I tell you!"

I have a hard time settling down on a project. I have millions of thoughts of things I "think" need to be done before I can start. Could that possibly be procrastination? Ha!

I constantly organize my space to better facilitate productivity (nice, huh?). I make a list. I lose the list. I make another list. It's missing things from the previous list. I combine the lists. I lose the list again. Then, when I leave for an errand, I forget the list.

I shuffle papers, moving them from this pile to that pile. Then suddenly decide that a pile HAS to go. Then I notice my plants need watering. Then my shelves need dusting. Then I think how lovely it would look if I staged the shelves differently. Then I have to pee. Where I add to my list.

You see how it is? I mean, really, do you want to be in here with me? No wonder I have such a hard time with my homework from school.

By now an hour has gone by and no work has happened on my project. What's that all about?

So - to say that email is a distraction is like saying pasta with red sauce and homemade meatballs is 'good.'

Now that I no longer work in the corporate milieu I ignore my email from time to time. I don't mean to. I guess because I can I just do. I've been untied of that restraint. It is annoying to friends and family that have emailed just the same.

And, since I AM so distractible, I forget to get to it or forget to reply or forget to read it.

I'm working on it. As I'm working on everything else. Proving that, even at a certain age, I am still a work in progress. When that stops I'll know something bad is about to happen.


R. Jacob said...

oh, you are wonderful. thanks

Karen said...

Believe me you're not alone.... did I tell you about the Fair last weekend over at.. I need a drink, hold on... OH, gotta let the dogs out, be right back... did I get the mail yesterday?..crap I forgot to put the wet clothes in the dryer, now they'll stink... gotta have chocolate, where did I put it??.. oh let me just check my e-mail.. oh AbOUT THE FAIR...

Yeah, I totally get it.
Um, what were we talking about?

Lo Lo said...

I know this feeling! I'm pretty sure that when I clean, my apartment ends up messier than it was before I started.

I am currently distracted by your blog at work :)

Ca88andra said...

You sound like me!

Marnie said...

You just described me. If my head wasn't screwed on, I'd be looking for it ;0)

It's a sign of the times, we have too much to deal with. At least in our parents day, when you went home from work, you were home. There weren't any laptops, cell phones, texting etc. You were home.

At work, you had to walk to someones desk and ask something...so it had better be important. Since computers were not in the workplace, you could only get so much done.

Don't get me wrong, I love my computer and cell phone etc. but I truly think technology has (in a huge way)created a lot of these sypmtoms.

The thoughts of Marnie...lol.

deb-oh-rah said...

I don't have ADHD that I know of --I'm just a common-every-day procrastinator. :-)

And I have noticed that the e-mails are going unanswered -- so I'll tell you here that Mikey thinks the cat toys we bought on our shopping trip for Yao and Cal are "gay". LOL!

Linnea said...

You think? Yes dear you need to check your e-mail at least once a week (Believe me if I can do it...)Any hoo leaving for Brainerd tomorrow, room for you guys if you want. B I R or bust!!

J.J. said...

My family and friends know, if they have something important to tell me, to text me. I screen my calls and scan my e-mail. But that damn beeping noise when I have a text is going to make me act.

Heff said...

Hmmm. That AD/HD logo looks strikingly familiar, lol !

Anonymous said...

You inspired me to forward some emails to you. Ha!

Kelly Olexa said...

Hysterical and I am SO the same way! I've noticed too a correlation between my total lack of short term memory and my ADHD issues!! Perhaps our brains are just TOO FULL of deep thoughts...? I keep telling myself this.

The Empress said...

I hate to admit the ugly side of this, I'm the same way.

My husband gets frustrated, my kids, too.

I am what I am.

T said...

Ooooooh, this subject has apparently hit a nerve (hit home) with many of your followers...this one included.

I'll sum my comment up by saying "Ditto" to everything Marnie said.

I'm guilty of saying "I need to respond to that email later when I have more time," and then forget to.


Frustrating to have such a cluttered mind!

Deborah said...

RJ - You are crazy poet-dude!

Karen - I am LOLing - yes, this is how it is!

Lo Lo - Ooooooh how I know that feeling.

Marnie - I sooooo agree with you. Even at work you do not have to interact with anyone if you choose not to. It's a weird time. I love technology; I hate technology.

deb - Is Mikey saying that the cat toys have a sexual preference? {scratching head}

Linnea! First comment on my blog!

J.J. - that's how it is with my girls as well. If I want to get in touch with them I totally text them.

Heff - Dirty deeds really are done dirt cheap yes?

Anony - they must have gotten lost on the superhighway!

Kelly - I'm with you. That's what I'm saying from now on. Yeah!

The Empress - I've had all I can stanz; and I can't stanz no more. (jumping on the Popeye theme)

T - I'm betting our minds are cluttered with very organized closets.