I have to do lists for work and personal life, and playlists; YouTube playlists, iTunes wish lists, lists of books waiting to be read, lists of saved articles to read later, a full RSS reader, lists of skills I want to acquire and character traits I want to fire and acquire. Lists of movie I may want to rent or buy, lists in my head of all the subjects I find interesting, grocery lists, list of things to do before baby 2. I have my Facebook feed (a kind of list), my twitter feed, and my Instagram (insta-distracted).
I have ADD (like, legit, not because its trendy), so I am easily distracted by all the possibilities in the world: Do I want to learn to play chess, the fiddle or read about theology, politics, the economy, or child development (I have one son and another on the way). Do I want learn markdown or French? Do I want to study weight loss or athletics? Or do I want to read more fiction and finally get through The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, Lés Miserables, Hunchback of Notre Dame, or do I want to read more science fiction? Or, do I want to bite the bullet and put it almost all aside, so I can focus on completing my Masters?
[ I actually can’t tell you, how many times I’ve switched from the window I’m typing in, back to something else that’s open on my computer. I should probably close it. Maybe next time.]
Do I want to read and dive deep back into my old interest of theatre? Perhaps read Shakespeare? Do I want to spend more time blogging, podcasting, exercising, or …. ? Speaking of which, how many podcasts are waiting in my queue?
This isn’t the first time I’ve suffered this sort of paralyzing over analysis. Usually I get back on track, but only for a bit. The problem is, I can pick a couple of topics and say “Ok, this is what I’m going to focus on”, but I don’t get specific enough as to what that means. There are, I think a couple of things at play:
- I don’t set specific enough goals around these things, or see them as part of larger process.
- The lack of doing this means I don’t really know when I’ve been successful at doing something, or I get lost in among the trees and loose sight of the forest.
As a consequence, I am easily swayed by my mood and the new shiny interesting topic that comes my way. Unfortunately, this can leave me feeling sad and aimless. I’ve tried using a life coach a couple times, but I’m just too uncommitted to make it work; I just waist their time.
So, I’m not 100% sure what the solution to this problem is, but I have an idea. I’ll give it a go and report back. If you have any ideas on how to stay focussed through life, while getting things accomplished, leave a comment below (make sure it’s something that’s actually worked for you long term though. Not just something you’ve heard or read about, thanks 🙂