At some point I figured out the more the merrier when it comes to distractions. I didn’t even think about it until someone in school pointed out that I shouldn’t be able to focus like I do. I know this is something I exploit regularly for blogging. I thought it might be nice if I shared with you lovely people how I got like this. So without further ado, here are my tips for mastering the ability to work amid distractions with TMI snippets into how I did it (and a bunch of gifs, sorry if you dislike gifs but I fuckin love them):
1) Grow up in a zoo.
Okay not really, but my childhood home(s, we moved quite a bit) were pretty fucking close. I have an older brother and a younger sister. My mom worked like 50+ hours a week and my step-dad drank too much. We had a dog, 2 cats, a rabbit, fish, an iguana, and a snake. The more the merrier. Now we only have two pets; a bird and a dog. They are both miniature, so the fit in my small house. Growing up in animal chaos taught me that I have more to give in the attention department then I would have guessed.
2) Get a small house and put too many people in it.
We didn’t do this intentionally but it just sort of happened. If you do this I can guarantee you will not find a quiet place, ever. (also, the kitchen will always be out of something essential, like milk) By doing this you will learn to read while the TV is blaring. It may be in the next room, but you would need ear plugs to not hear every detail. You can’t actually use ear plugs because the little people in the next room over will be fighting in two minutes or need something to eat/drink so you are on call for that. I promise you will be motivated to make more money somehow so you can get a home with a quiet place. Which leads me to my next suggestion….
3) Go to school full-time with 4 kids in the house.
The only way to get a bigger house so you can have a quiet place is to either A) put in more hours at your current job B) go back to school and pick something to study that will pay better. I chose B and had to learn to study amid distractions. In nursing school, I could take furious notes outlining whole chapters while the instructor lectured and somehow absorb everything needed for testing. (I passed with honors, despite three kids at home and one still in NICU, oh and I used my breaks to pump milk instead of eating and socializing). I can read, write, or watch TV amid distractions. I have to.
4) Get obsessive-compulsive about new projects.
Start something you have never done and immerse yourself. I can’t do things half-way. For some reason, I have to do it all the way. Case in point: when I joined the Army reserves I was 27 and I had never run a mile in my life. Once I realized how much running was required, I decided to take up running as if it was a hobby. I subscribed to running magazines and signed myself up for team in training. Team in Training helps people train for major marathons and triathlons throughout the country. They will train you and get you there, you just have to raise like $3,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society within 3 months. I chose a full 26.2 mile marathon in San Francisco. The funny thing is that I didn’t even have a job when I signed up for the marathon. I did it though. raised $3,650 and ran 26.2 miles in Oct. 2005. Oh, and I passed ever single physical fitness test while I was in the Army. I get that same obsessiveness about every book I read and the blog posts I write. I do it until I am done, no matter what else is going on.
5) Have four or more kids.
I live for my children, so DO NOT misunderstand me here. For seven years I had only two children. Life was good, but I wanted another child. After two miscarriages I gave up, and then seven years later (surprise!) I had child number three. When I became pregnant like 15 months later with child number four, I was like “what’s one more mouth to feed?” Hahaha! That kid almost killed me. He was born 4 MONTHS premature. He has special needs. I try not to talk about him here, but…. He needs a lot of specialists (at least at first, not so much now). We are constantly on the go with appointments; dental, medical, medical specialists, shopping trips for clothes, grocery runs, hair cuts, school supplies, after school activities, and social engagements with friends. Teenagers and toddlers should not be mixed. A little too late for me to learn this, but I have learned to juggle. This skills has served me well. I love to listen to books while I am commuting, and I bring a book everywhere I go. Waiting rooms are not so bad when you have a book to escape to.
6) Overbook yourself in real life.
“Oh I have a day off coming up, let me schedule every single appointment for week on that day!” Instead of doing some appointments after work or before work during the week, I will book them all on my day off. I am a dumb ass. This basically means I don’t ever get a break. Also, everything feels rushed because I am in a hurry to get home and relax. So I have to steal my ME moments, even if there is a bunch of stuff going on in the background (cue fighting siblings in the next room. no really, that is happening right now).
7) Overbook your blog.
Get a whole bunch of books from tours, publishers, Netgalley and Edelweiss. Get a calender and fill it up. Forget that you have a life outside of the blog, plan to post every single day. Then you will have to cram to get things done. I do not plan to let anyone down, so I get things done in distractions. I have no choice.
I hope this little list will help you to work in distractions. Do you have any tips to add? Comment and share!
Seriously, I wouldn’t change a thing about my crazy life. It works for me.