Embracing Distraction || From My Heart

The phone rings, my stomach calls me to the kitchen, the dog starts barking because the mailman is here, I grab something from the bedroom and the pile of dirty clothes reminds me I will not have any clean underwear tomorrow if I don’t do something about it, the baby pulls out a memory card from the desk drawer [oh no! thats not good], a walk to the bathroom reminds me that the baseboards still aren’t on, maybe I should make time for that today, there is a hoard of flies which indicates that my kitchen is smelly again- should I do the dishes?

And suddenly, I find myself trying to summon the hopefully-genetic super power of my mom who could have a heart to heart with anyone on the other side of the counter while making dinner for ten, an extra meal to freeze for later, clean the entire kitchen and probably house, make you feel loved, make you a cup of tea, and then you find out later because you didn’t even notice when it happened, but she did the taxes too and caught up the budget for the housing business she and dad run on the side of everything else. Oh, and she even talked to my brother on the phone and made him feel loved too all while I drank a cup of tea.

Super-powers, come to me.

I am still working on summoning those powers, but in the mean time, I have learned how to be distracted. Distraction and work are, on the surface, enemies of one another. But finally, after 7 years of learning how to run a business [from 4 different home bases over that time], I have learned a few things about doing it from home. Or, a coffee shop, the car, the backyard, bed, at 3 am or 1 pm.

Ironically, having a kid was one of my biggest fears for my business. I thought that running a business from home and having a baby would be impossible. So when the baby showed up, I feared it was the end of my dream. The end of 5 years of slow, hard work.

Boy, was I wrong. My darling, precious baby has only made me a harder worker. She has given structure and routine to my day, which was otherwise all over the place with an endless possibility of things I could do. For the past year and four months, I have been learning how to be distracted. Instead of stressing out about the endless options of things I could do and resenting them all for bombarding my workspace, I can use them as motivators to keep my workflow going.

When I hear the washer buzz, I notice it for a second and then tell myself I will switch it when I finish culling this set of photos. The chance to stand up and move will be the perfect break for my brain and the laundry will continue on, all in good time. When my daughter cries out, telling me that she would like to rise from crib and explore and discover, I decide how far I will make it on these edits and plan for a 15 minute break to get her lunch and then to get back to it. When I see a house project that I am antsy to make progress on, I tell myself that if I work hard on my to-do list on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, then I could potentially finish everything and get a paint brush in my hand on Thursday to re-do some furniture.

I love the times when I can sit down, silence my phone, and work work work. But for the other 80% of my work time, I am loving the challenge of learning how to be productively distracted instead of di-stressed.

So I came here to share that tiny tid-bit of working from home wisdom I have failed at many times, ultimately so that I could distract you with my favorite distraction:

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On a super practical note, this planner has contributed hugely to helping me prioritize well and organize the many different tasks that can be on my plate. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for something to help you get organized!

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