braindribbles

Posts Tagged ‘distraction

Generally speaking, when I am focused on something, I’m fairly switched on.  I am not quite the dunderhead I sometimes appear to be.

Then I’ll get the tiniest distraction.  And that’s it.  Focus – gone.  Memory – gone.  No idea what I was doing or talking about.

This is a bit of a problem when I teach.  Because I’m fairly new to teaching, I can struggle to sleep well before a class.  I tend to run on adrenaline during early classes, and keep my wits about me by instinct (or is that terror?) alone.  But when the group start to look as if they are enjoying themselves, and I relax a little bit, that’s when it happens. I lose the thread of a conversation.

Fatal.

According to an Ezine article I read about this, if it happens a lot it could be down to your physical health.  If you have hypertension, diabetes, or even a vitamin B12 deficiency, among other things, it has been proven to have an effect.

Which is all very well, but I believe in my case, it’s usually my own thoughts that distract me.  One of the million other things I shouldn’t be thinking about will invade my consciousness.  It could be relevant to later in the class, or it could be some silly recollection from something I did at home.  Anything, really.

How, then, do I prevent it from happening?  Well, the same article mentions online brain training games.  I actually quite like these, but the ones that will help, I hate, because I have a terrible memory and I feel bad that I can’t do very well in them.  It also says that learning a new language is a great way to keep the brain muscles in shape.

There are things we can’t do much about, such as the fact that our senses are overstimulated by our modern lives. Phones, TV, emails and endless advertising are apparently all big contributors to being so easily distracted.   Life coach Holly Worton recommends switching off such distractions – especially the internet – to get tasks done, and she’s right (though the temptation to keep things humming along in the background is still too strong for me to resist so far). Not an issue in classes, but good for day-to-day life.

Spookily enough, the e-zine article also talks about exercise.  Yes.  Again, the magic solution is exercise – apparently every mile that a woman walks per week reduces her risk of memory loss by up to thirteen percent.

Funny how everything is about exercise at the moment.  Just as well, perhaps, that I’m finally doing some.

I’d better make sure I keep it up between now and the next course, or I’ll, um…what was I saying again?

I’ve had a relatively productive day today.  I’ve made corrections on one of the two pieces of work I need to finish while I’m out here.  When I get home it should only require the odd tweak here and there till it’s fit to hand in.

The word ‘relatively’, though, because yesterday I finally managed to persuade the computer to connect to the wireless router.

prozac1 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As such, I have fallen prey to the vultures of the internet.  Facebook circled round, saw me at a mental block with my work and swooped  in.  Miniclip was a partner in crime; for the best part of two hours it had me playing a particularly unimpressive game.  Even Twitter gathered round to peck at the remnants.

Somehow, when I have work to do, I always spend more time faffing about on the net than I do on the work. This is why I try to go to the library to study when I get the chance.  No connection there.  But there was a sleeping baby to consider on this occasion, so I was connected, and as ever, I became a victim of the vultures.

One day they’ll make a magic potion I can take before I sit down to work, which keeps me out of sight of those hunchbacked birds.

But, knowing me, I probably wouldn’t take it even if they did.  I seem to be a willing victim.

Another blogger shared this with me today: –

10 Signs of a Typical Writing Day

Have a look. It reminds me of every time I try to make progress with one of my assignments.

Also, many of you reading this actually are writers. Does it ring familiar? I’m starting to understand why the likes of Roald Dahl locked themselves in the garden shed either nothing but pen, paper and an alarming quantity of alcohol.

Over the last three years I’ve been trying to work out how to get the morning routine sussed so that we are not late for school.

Good old Flylady has a wealth of advice on this one.

  • Get up fifteen minutes earlier than you used to, and use this time to make sure you yourself are fully ready (‘dressed to lace up shoes’), having laid out your clothes the night before.

I’m now getting up half an hour earlier, and yes, I’m laying out my clothes.  It definitely helps.  I don’t wear lace-up shoes though. Maybe I should.

  • Get everything that has to go in the car ready the night before, and put it at the Launch Pad (special place to put stuff ready to go in the car)

I do almost everything the night before, and yes we even have a Launch Pad (my son thinks this is a brilliant name).  I can’t cope with doing the lunches the night before as I can’t stand soggy sandwiches, but this still helps a good deal.

  • Leave with fifteen minutes to spare.

We never have a spare fifteen minutes.  We are lucky if we are on time.

Flylady also has several other things that you should do before you leave the house, such as swish and swipe, rebooting the laundry and emptying the dishwasher, all of which just have to wait till after the school run.   I’ve tried to squeeze them in, but as any parent in the school playground will tell you, I just can’t do it and still be there on time.

The kids know they are not allowed to have TV or playtime till they are ready with everything except their coat.  Being five and seven years old, this needs frequent reminding.  The baby, thankfully, is adaptable and does not contribute to morning chaos.

Take this morning for instance.   I was so good.  We were doing well.  I’d limited my ambitions to just getting out on time since everyone had overslept.  I was micro-managing the children, which works well to prevent distractions from taking hold, albeit rather time-intensive.  We were getting in the car, and still on time.  When I realise that it’s a bit too quiet.

Yes, the moment I had taken my eyes off him, my oldest child had decided that rather than get his sweatshirt, coat and shoes on and be ready, he’d  just pop to the playroom and fiddle with his Lego.

The Playroom

The playroom. Irresistable to 7-year-olds who should be getting dressed.

I so nearly broke Resolution No. 2.  My voice certainly came out at a higher pitch, and my displeasure was noticeable.

And we were late for school.

Again.