“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” -Adam Hochschild
I have been on a full-time schedule at my office job for the better part of a month now, and it has been a more regular occurrence over the past year in particular for me to be asked to forego my afternoon shift for a full day. There are things that must be balanced not only in terms of my timesheet (I won’t bore you with the details), but also in terms of my work outside of the 9-to-5 routines I am well aware I’m not alone in encountering. Many a person balances work, home life, church and/or volunteer work, and the like.
So I’m not going to whine or try to impress about how busy I am or am not because this isn’t a competition. We’re all doing what we do, you know? Besides, I’d much rather follow the example of one of the busiest people I know who simply goes quietly about their work with a smile, a good-natured shrug, and minus any sort of a spotlight.
But oh, how changes/shifts to my schedule make me realize how distractible I can be. It’s something I was made painfully aware of once during a performance review, and I had to confess to the reviewer what I still know to be true: When I’m overwhelmed or stressed out by the task in front of me, I go do something else. This isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it is better to put something down for a while to engage with another task. It helps reboot my brain in a sense so I can come back to the thing that had me in a bit of a panic with a clearer head. But there are other times when I need to push through the stress, when I need to fight instead of embark on a flight of some sort, and simply get the unpleasant job in front of me done.
The latter is becoming easier. Particularly as another NaNoWriMo fast approaches, as I see more clearly making changes and building a good life in general takes work. Because guess what? I have been given much (odds are you have been, too): Easy access to food, shelter, clothing, clean drinking water, work, family, friends, religious freedoms, medical aid, transportation, etcetera, etcetera. So I had best get off my duff and steward it all well. To do anything less would be a waste, a shame, even. I don’t want to bury my talents/abilities/giftings in the sand. What I’d best bury are my distractions.