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One Cobble at a Time

Making Better Choices About Time

Sandra Tayler's Journal

responsible woman

A cobble by itself is just a small stone, but when many of them lay together they create a path . My life is made up of many discrete parts. I have to find ways to fit them all into place so that I can continue to journey where I desire to go. This journal records some of the cobbles that create my path.

Making Better Choices About Time

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responsible woman

It is the interstitial moments that are my downfall. They are the spaces between one task and the next, when I’ve completed one email for business and before I’ve gathered my parenting thoughts to write the next one to a teacher. In that fraction of a moment some part of my brain tells me I should go check twitter. So I do. In fact I click through my saved tabs taking a look at all of my regular websites to see if there is anything new. If there is, I read it. If nothing is new, I feel like I want something new, so I am tempted to click something else, to go find something new. Ten or twenty minutes later I resurface and turn my mind to the next task. Sometimes that brief click through actually does refresh my mind, making me ready for the next thing. More often it fractures my focus, filling my mind with distraction. I have decided that I need to pay attention to this tendency, to acknowledge that sometimes I need a break, but that I should focus my break time on activities which actually refresh and refocus instead of those which distract and fracture. To that end, I have made the following list. These are the things I should do instead of clicking through internet tabs for the umpteenth time.

  • Spend time in spiritual study and scripture reading. Granted this is a larger break, but a very worthwhile one.
  • Go to the gym. Again a longer brake, again very worth the time.
  • Do a five minute house chore like switching out laundry loads or vacuuming a room.
  • Step outside my house and breath outdoor air for five minutes.
  • Spend a few minutes on a gardening task or watering the indoor plants.
  • Glance through fiction notes to see if new ideas jump out. (This one may lead into writing hijacking an hour.)
  • Spend ten or fifteen minutes working on the family photo book projects.
  • Declare writing time and go write fiction for awhile.
  • Read one of those books I’ve been intending to study for style and prose.
  • Read or watch one of the articles or TED talks that I put away to look at later when I had time to focus on it.
  • Just sit and stare at nothing to see what thoughts parade themselves into consciousness.

Some of these things will take more time thank a quick click through websites, but they actually feed and rest my brain in ways that clicking doesn’t. Having the list is a good start. The next part is learning to be mindful.

Comments are open on the original post at onecobble.com.

  • You forgot "take a 10 to 20 minute power nap." :-)
  • This is a good list. I have the same distraction problem, and a lot of these are things I could be doing when I'm too bored to look for yet another TV show to pass the time in my boring evenings (I have no life nowadays outside work).
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