Procrastination Is Distraction

Being your own boss is not always a good thing. They say that writers are the best procrastinators, they are not lying. Not even so much as being a procrastinator, it is more about being in the heat of a moment that could mess up your day. If you read my previous blog, you would have heard that I had a very bad interview. Being that it was my first interview in a while, it really threw me for a loop. I mean, I had only been out of the game for nearly 3 years, but I was thinking if that much had changed.

Now, getting back to what I had mentioned before about being a procrastinator, it seems that when you are your own boss, anything can throw you off your game. Last week’s incident seemed to hit me with a curve ball that I was not ready for. Not even ready for, but more along the lines of expecting. This week, I kind of floundered during the week, but recording with Patrick for our Extended Play Movie Podcast did manage to lift my spirits.

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Getting back to the procrastinator’s point, which is hilarious at this moment simply because I feel like I am procrastinating getting to the point. Trying to accomplish what you set out to do is hard to do when you are your own boss. Many things will take your attention away from you getting things accomplished. Some may sit there and say that is not true, but I will give you some examples:

Physical Distractions:

How many times are you on the computer, attempting to research a piece of information for a blog post, and you get stuck on an email that has nothing to do with what you are attempting to do? You search out a YouTube video about a speech someone gave for a reference and you get caught up on that conspiracy theory link that throws you into that YouTube pit? Better yet, when you are trying to get some writing done and your day is thrown off by a friend that sent you a text message that you took the wrong way.

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In this day of being in constant contact, you find yourself being pulled in many directions. This illusion that we can multitask is not only a myth but a complete fabrication. The human mind cannot dedicate the complete brain power for one task and give you (in equal measures) the same power for the multiple tasks you think you are completing.

In simpler terms, this mythic ability to multitask is simply devoting a fraction of your attention to multiple task and getting nothing done. We think that by working at home, owning your own business or working for yourself will cut down on the distractions of working for someone else in the office.  It is a delusion we have constructed for ourselves.

Our daily distraction is the same regardless of where our employment is headquartered. If you are at home, you have the distraction of the work you need to accomplish, issues that crop up at home, loud neighbors, power outage, internet failure, pet or children emergencies and all of that ilk. Even I believe that working at home would be better, you would be more comfortable but it would not be that much easier.

Emotional Distractions:

We have all had those days when you simply don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe you had a rough day yesterday, or a restless night’s sleep. Maybe you had some bad news the day before and you are left to think why should we even bother participating in this human race when it all means nothing in the end. Okay, that last part seems to be geared more toward clinical depression and you should speak with someone about it. Even in my case, you have something that was designed to be a bright point and it turned into a complete waste of time. If you are already in an unhealthy mindset, this is all you need to demotivate from anything you were planning to do.

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Let us take a step further. You wake up with vigor and plans for the day. Many things to get done. So much ambition. You sit down to work. Your pet is not looking so hot, you need to tend to them. Your computer or internet is running into issues. You have to troubleshoot the issue or even restart it. You spill your coffee or juice and rush to keep the electronics away. Sound familiar?

These are emotional distractions that keep you from moving forward. You will get frustrated and defeatist to wonder if you should even try because “the universe” is telling me to stay away. I mean, if this is day 21 and you have not taken a break since then, then maybe there is some truth to that. More to the point, you just give up because “someone” doesn’t think you should work today.

It is easy to fall into those traps. Let “nature take its course” and force you to not complete the mission you had set out for yourself. Nevertheless, that is where we come in. We have that moment to decide whether we should submit or persevere.  Giving up is never an option, unless you are playing a video game. Why? Because you will come back to it, no matter how many times you “rage quit.”

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Think of many of the excuses you give for certain things not being done. I didn’t have time. Did you literally not have enough time? Or, was it more along the lines of you got up late, took that hour nap, joined someone at a bar, decided to indulge the kids instead of keeping to your time table? You never got around to posting that blog entry because you had too much to do. Did you have too much to do? Or, was it more because you spent hours on YouTube looking at fail videos, the new update for World of Warcraft was released or your dog looked extra cute today so you spend hours taking an obscene amount of pictures?

In the end, procrastination is not simply finding other things more “fun” to occupy your time. It is about distraction. Finding something that can distract you from the mission at hand. Whether it is conscious or sub-conscious is irrelevant. Your mind knows what it will take to distract you from doing anything. What trigger thought that can bring your whole day down. The idea is to get ahead of it or take control of it. It is easier said than done but it can be achieved. Take me for example: I woke up with drive. Ran into computer issues. SEO issues, artwork problems and spilled juice on my desk. Normally, I would have given up but I pushed through and completed this blog entry. Now, I need to do some other work but there is something I need to check out on YouTube real quick…

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