Nowadays I'm busy. I'm proofreading a manuscript which a senior editor has sent. I'm also preparing a special writing project of my own, about which I'm really, really excited. I have, as always, my regular blogging and book review activities. As a housewife with four children, I lead a busy, crazy life. As I work from home, rather than going to an office, I should be able to make the most of my time.
I usually reserve my writing and editing activities for the hours when my husband and children are not in the house. So I'd been wondering, recently, why my time isn't more productive. Why isn't my current editing assignment already complete? Why am I not writing at the rate of at least two thousand words per day? Deep down, I know the answer. There are too many distractions in my environment.
What distractions? Well, as a housewife, one is supposed to constantly be on top of things. Certain members of the household depend on me to know where they can find their socks/handkerchieves/shirts. Those items could be stored in a cupboard. They could be at any stage of my washing cycle. When someone in my household is looking for something, I feel I have to drop everything and help them find it. There's an elderly person in my world who expects to be my priority when it comes to her wants and needs. The reason for this expectation is cultural. I, on the other hand, being from another society, embrace the 'help yourself' philosophy. Neither because I'm lazy nor because I'm busy. Because it is truly in the best interests of an individual in her declining years, to keep as active as possible, in order to keep her abilities from atrophying from lack of use. Yes, honestly! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
The internet is, of course, the biggest distraction of all. Once I'm on the computer, there's a constant urge to check my email and Facebook messages. One naturally get drawn into conversations, many of which are fascinating. Hours can pass and you don't feel it. At all. Then you check the clock and find yourself gasping with surprise.
I found it interesting to learn that an author purchased some software which automatically shuts down the internet when she's writing. Can't she just switch off the net? But I realise that if one has a wireless connection which connects automatically, it's probably not easy to do that.
I recently invested in a new laptop and to my surprise, it failed to connect to my wireless system. I have to connect it to the internet manually. I had purchased this laptop from a family friend. I wasn't a bit happy about the inability to connect wirelessly and I decided to return the laptop and demand my money back.
However, a week has now passed. Am I still planning to return this laptop? No, not at all. I'm perfectly happy that my computer only connects when I need it to do so. I'm even happier that I have to go to a certain place in the house to connect to the internet.
It means that I can concentrate on the work, without being distracted by the lure of emails and lovely Facebook messages - I know I enjoy them, but when my 'office work' is complete for the day, I enjoy them so much more. I can chat to my friends if they're still online and do so with a completely free mind.
It's nice to find some way to control the distractions which surround us.
This is my blog post for this week's LBC topic, Distraction, suggested by Maria (me!). The LBC Group members' blogs are listed in my sidebar. If you feel like reading a good blog, you should check them out.