Short attention span
March 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm #233786
Suffering from it. Are you?
I’ve been having a bit of a go again in the kitchen and seem to love the result of it, but definitely not the process. Goes for all other decluttering/ organising/ cleaning projects, too, which is quite frustrating at times. I know better than to tackle more than “a drawer at once”, but it’s the carrying onto the second drawer that is the most challenging aspect.
What do you do to persevere? After all it is much more time efficient if we don’t stop after the five to fifteen minutes, but do larger chunks in one go.
March 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm #233789
I’m having a related/similar problem – I’m having trouble *finishing* things. Looking around my house (and at my work to do list), there are lots of projects that are within a couple focused hours of work of completion. But I am finding it hard to buckle down and focus for several hours in order to cross anything off, even though I know it would feel very good to do so.
I do generally find that listening to a good podcast helps me keep going – if it is an hour long podcast, I can say, “I’m going to work until this ends.” So I guess they serve as a sort of timer for me, with entertainment built in. Of course, if the uncluttering you are doing takes mental energy or involves particularly tough decisions, that might not work for you. Making a commitment to the forum to share a before/after photo of a particular area might work, too, in order to have some accountability. (“I will clean six cupboards today.”)
Of course, Ella has proved to us that 15 minutes a day really can work wonders, so maybe that is the tactic you should use until you get some natural mojo back.
March 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm #233796
Im in the opposite camp- I’m an all or nothing kinda girl. If I have at least an hour or a morning etc. to do something- ill get it done. I simply cannot do things in 15 minutes spurts. It’s too distracting and disjointed for me. If I know i dont have the time to finish something I generally will wait until I do have the time for it.
And- when i am doing the project/decluttering etc. I don’t like much more distraction than an audiobook or some music.
So, guess I’ve got no advice for you…
March 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm #233798
I’m wondering if it’s to do with winter. My attention span has rarely been shorter than it is at the moment. That’s at work as well. Finding everything a bit of an uphill struggle at present, and the uncluttering activities are basically on hold. Which is a pity, as my partner has entirely failed to live up to the promise to clear ‘one box a day’ from the detritus pile from the parents’ house in Penzance. The dining room/den is an obstacle course and our main lounge is still a storage unit with seating. 🙁
I’m currently trying to build some cleaning habits – it’s much easier to keep the place under control if I do certain things every day without fail – but even those are proving difficult. The only habit I seem to be managing to stick with at the moment is getting back into a regular yoga practice – I practice Bikram yoga, and when I keep at it regularly (3-4 times a week) I function much better in general both physically and mentally. However, it’s a strenuous practice and I’m out of practice with it… and recovering the lost ground is very hard going.
So at the moment everything is a bit overwhelming and displacement activity rules the day. I think things might improve when we get some sunlight and warmth… I hope!
March 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm #233800
This year I am cutting back on internet time as I believe it is responsible for much modern day attention deficit. Sitting at a computer also hurts my neck and back, so it is better to spend the day moving. I think it’s much easier when there is a serious deadline to declutter for such as a house move or perhaps guests. My phone app for pomodoros allows adjustment of the work and break cycle times so that if 15 minutes is too short I can skip a break or try longer intervals. Like Sleepykitten, sometimes I load my ipod with a particular album or podcast.
Paul – it’s so much easier to declutter when everyone is on board. I hope your partner gets back on track soon.
March 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm #233801
I should definitely push at least the quarter of an hour, just like dear Ella has done so often. She is a good example, especially if the task involves something emotionally draining. It is just so easy to go easy on oneself, when nobody else is suffering from the chaos 🙂
March 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm #233802
I think you are much more disciplined than me right now *small envious sigh* *and a hog*
March 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm #233803
I was active all winter elsewhere online, but I’ve cut back dramatically on my social online time; there was way too much drama going on with people so intent on being right all the time and also fitting into a particular box, the ironic one (“I’m so cool because I’m so accepting of stuff, as long as you think like I do”). Yawn. I’d rather finally get some serious stuff done in my home, get it in a “ready for unexpected guests at all times” state the way our Susan is already.
March 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm #233805
ninakk- i don’t know if its as much discipline as it is focus. it’s like- stay out of my way people, do not bug me until i am finished.
perhaps not always the best tactic. lol
March 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm #233820
I’m hormonally imbalanced today so the brain is not firing on all cylinders. The nature of my job does not lend itself to long-term concentration (it’s very “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”), and a current state of overcommittedness in my extracurricular activities is also making it hard to focus. Unfortunately there is nothing I can kick off the to-do list right now.
March 13, 2013 at 9:51 pm #233845
we have limped through a diabolically hot summer, with some major renovation upheaval that has left us limp but happy.
it is cooling down now, we are resting and re-grouping, and i see a productive and happy winter ahead.
i am very much all-or-nothing too.
i tend to throw myself obsessively into projects and hammer away until things are completed to my satisfaction.
when my attention is engaged, i am laser-like in focus.
the rest of the time, i am a complete dilletante with the concentration of a gnat.
March 14, 2013 at 9:45 am #233880
Summer has been like the pit of hell this year!
March 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm #234156
What do you define as a short attention..SQUIRREL!
March 22, 2013 at 6:28 pm #234157
Aaannddddd this loses its humour when i see the photo pop up only after I post…
April 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm #234262
For me the helping thing is to put on a movie I’ve seen a million times, especially the Disney movies. Yes, I’m a grown-up (a claim contradicted by my use of the term “grown-up”, if Gilmore Girls’ logic is anything to go by) but I adore Disney. But, and here’s the catch, I know those movies by heart. I ad-lib to them. I have dialogues out of them with my sis. (Sometimes mash-ups from several movies.) So it’s a nice little “distraction” that sort of cancels out all other distractions and lets me focus on my project at hand. I only pause for my absolute favorite bits of the movie. (You can’t not watch the “shame on you, shame on your cow!” in Mulan. It’s like… a law!)
I guess it’s kind of like when you put music on when you study to drown out all the random sounds that would mess up your concentrations. You mask them with the non-distracting music. That’s what the movies do. They engage the part of my mind that would go off on a tangent.
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