According to research we humans get distracted 47% of the time! So our mind wonders nigh on half of the time we spend doing anything or listening to anyone. And this was all before you introduce smart phones or the internet into the mix.
The last few weeks I have had almost a constant furrow in my brow from the unimaginable amount of work I have on, constantly juggling 20 odd projects, all with competing deadlines and priorities. However, upon reflection this is probably only 1 more than the usual 19 projects I have to contend with, so why have I felt as if my brain is frazzled on an evening.
One of the reasons is that I had a wonderful holiday with my five year old on Portugal where I had to switch off and reconnect with my inner-youth. Upon getting back after this mini break I got withdrawal symptoms of not spending time with him as he went off to Liverpool to spend a week with my outlaws.
However, this afternoon as I returned home, after wasting a few hours at the new business centre waiting for the BT engineer to arrive, to eventually turn up and tell me he hasn’t been allocated enough time to do the job so someone else will need to come out next week, the buzzer rang.
Now, it is quite unusual for me to be at home or for someone to ring the buzzer unannounced. I answered and this young plucky voice said that his name was Steven and he was an ex-offender on a sales course and was selling some items.
I opened the gate and this tall young scruffy looking boy with a holdall on his bag came up the path. Inviting him in, he seem slightly unsure, I said come on in and gave him a drink whilst I listened to his story. He told me he had hit is sister’s boyfriend for physically abusing his sister and ended up being sentenced to 3 years in a youth offenders institute where he had been released after 18 months. He enjoyed boxing but as a consequence of this offence had lost his licence and now didn’t what he wanted to do, although was interested in the Army.
Steven was genuinely sorry for committing the offence, although he did also acknowledge that he had been “a sod” when he was younger, and didn’t really have an excuse for getting into trouble as both of his parents were well to do with respectable positions. In fact his father had been in the army. Anyway we looked through Steven’s items and I bought 3 items for far more than i could pick them up at BM Bargain, although by doing so he got a free driving lesson. I agreed to connect him with the Army and encouraged him to remain focused, disciplined and concentrates on the bigger picture. He gave me a promise that he would work hard.
Now this isn’t a story of a good deed on my part, but more that we can get distracted with focusing on the tasks in hand rather than the impact they have or our longer term ambitions. The vast majority of time I do what I enjoy, and enjoy what I do. Meeting Steven helped me re-establish my connection of the 20 projects I am working on, which all make a difference, getting caught up in movement rather than momentum. And now there was another, getting Steven in the army.
By focusing on the positives in life and through our actions the Brian Drain that I was feeling has turned into a Brain Gain making me feel better already. I now need to spend the weekend with the family to get my mojo back. We have agreed to disconnect from our phones. Now where was I before I got distracted and started writing this blog…