At War with Distractions

At War with Distractions

I woke up all grumpy after a short afternoon nap on a weekend and the minute I opened my eyes, there were thousands of thoughts playing pillow fight leaving clumsy cotton balls everywhere. A pause and I knew I needed to start working right then to feel better. I found a not-so-well-lit corner, opened my notepad, started jotting the day’s pending works and BOOOMMMM! Someone whispered “have you noticed the pile of clothes waiting for laundry?'' I frowned thinking if it could wait, ignored it, took to the pen, and there it whispered, “Why do you not think of learning digital art?” and I gave it a thought and said I have a lot to learn and I don’t know what to do about it”. I had already started feeling upset over a number of things, and now this. While I struggled with what was on the plate, a voice, very calm, whispered in my ears “How I love listening to soft Tibetan music while painting!” 20 minutes had already passed in all these amazing conversations with literally no one. I played the music, of-course, took out my drawing notebook, and started sketching. The sketch was only 20% done and I realized that there is an urgent shipping pending and that there is a huge task-list that needs attention before anything else. Well, did I mention that 45 minutes had passed in doing nothing? Once again I was at square one, sitting with my notepad in a not-so-well-lit corner, trying to make a list of priorities for the day. And..

This is a very common conduct. I am sure we all have been there in some way. We don’t really realize that these distractions eat up so much of our time and energy that at the end, we are back to where we started from.

I struggled to find peace. Sometimes a quiet time was my definition of peace. Sometimes the absence of people, sometimes it was this and other times it was that. Gradually as I understood that peace is nothing but the absence of mental distractions, I have been working on dealing with distractions. Distractions... in work and life. I am sharing a few experiences with you all which worked for me and might be a good start for you.

1. Planning the day is the first “work” that I do. Of-course the day needs to be started on a positive, happy and healthy note, and once the work-mode is on, I write down my day’s task, priority wise. Sometimes I deliberately keep it light, leaving room for impromptu activities or creativity, but at times it’s packed too.

2. Discipline. This is a highly important virtue, but it does take a lot of conditioning. I am still learning it, and constantly reminding myself on it.

3. If something is really bothering me, I spend a good amount of time on it. Research and jot things down. If it is a personal subject, I talk it out. If it is professional, I talk to people to understand the subject and take their viewpoints, analyze it and see how it is going to work for me. It is NOT easy. Sometimes there is no answer and it keeps bugging. But one needs to keep these aside and do what needs to be done anyway.

4. Meditation - A lot has been written and spoken about meditation and its spiritual and emotional and physical healing powers. There are different forms of meditation and each of us relate and respond differently to it. For me, art has been that meditation. So at times when I feel highly distracted or confused or anxious, I take shelter in art. I paint and paint and paint till I feel at peace. This might work for you, if you are able to identify what acts as meditation for you. I highly recommend it because it not only helps dealing with turmoil but also is a productive way.

Issues are a part of life. In today’s time the comfort of life has come at huge cost. We might not be able to solve all of our life problems, but identifying them and acting accordingly does help.

Let us know what you do to help fight distractions. It might be a new perspective and help someone in the journey.


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