Finding Focus Day 2: The Perils of Multitasking

12 thoughts on “Finding Focus Day 2: The Perils of Multitasking”

  1. The zen masters used to say “do only one thing at a time. When you are eating, just eat. When you are sitting, just sit.” and so on. But with our modern world, they have had to tailor their advice to the habits of today’s devotee.

    First it was one thing at a time, and then with inflation it became two things at a time. Then three, and so on. Nowadays, the zen master says: “When you are driving to work and putting on your makeup and spreading hummus on your bagel and sipping your latte and checking your email, don’t try to send a fax at the same time, because it could cause network overload.”

    :^)

  2. OMG – this is brilliant! Yes, I know I say that a lot – I get enthusiastic. 🙂

    FIRST, I see what I am doing RIGHT.
    SECOND, I see where I am going astray!

    I, too, love music, but I have written in silence for YEARS. Why? Because anything with words has me singing along, at least in my head – I had to shut that voice out. For a time I would listen to music alone (not songs), which certainly helps create a mood, but it also kept me there and sometimes I needed to move on to a different mood during the course of that hour (or whatever). So I chopped that out too. My house is silent from dawn ’til dusk, then I sit back, enjoy some wine and watch a DVD.

    That silence is a huge PLUS for me and I didn’t even realize what a good thing that was! I’m thrilled! And, yes, I think that explains quite well how I managed to write the first book so well and how I finished an even better sequel in only nine months (not bad for books that are complex and near 600 pages apiece).

    Now for the bad news – If I’m having a tough time with something in my writing, I “fill in the time” by blogging and by catching up with everyone and everything else. Uh-oh! NOT GOOD. I’m not filling in time at all – I’m wasting it with distraction! I’m “being busy” as though the problem will fix itself in the background!

    I see I shall have to limit myself to a scheduled hour in the morning and another, maybe, in the late afternoon – and chop the Internet from the rest of my day.

    It sneaks up on you! Distraction, so-called “filling in time”.

    Thank you so much for this insight, Claire. This has given me the wake-up call I needed to avoid a crash-and-burn on book three, wondering what had happened.

    HUGE HUG to you! 😀

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