Dealing with interruptions

Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:19 pm
I have found lately that when I get interrupted for whatever reason, I have a hard time getting started again. I am not sure if it is a focus issue or what - but I have been spinning my wheels A LOT lately. I am not a wheel spinner. I am a productive person - not so much these days.

Anybody else like this? What do you do to get back into your groove again?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,982 • Replies: 32
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cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:25 pm
I'm now 73 years old, and I find myself spinning my wheels more often.
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:30 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I'd say youare doing great C.I. I am a little over half that and find I am doing it more than I ever have. It bothers me.
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:34 pm
mismi, when I was really young, I began having panic attacks. I had no idea what they were, but they were accompanied by tachycardia. Only had one since I have been here in Florida. I deal with interruptions by sitting in my little studio and listening to music. It helps me to focus.

I know this is not what you mean about "wheel spinning", but music always helps.

Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:38 pm
The music is a good idea. That would keep some of the interruptions from actually happening. Listening to my Ipod would drown out the phone and listening to the music would stop some of the thoughts anyway.

Thanks Letty.
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:51 pm
Shoot girl, I'm impressed that you get going in the first place. My problem lately is chronic procrastination. I think well I'll just do this and then that, but this is a long shot and I never get to that.

I take Maxine's view these days that if I didn't get it done and nothing caved in or fell off or died, then it didn't have to be done. At least that's comforting.

Maybe your slow down is just your inner self telling you that its okay to take some time off to smell the figurative roses?
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:56 pm
I take Maxine's view these days that if I didn't get it done and nothing caved in or fell off or died, then it didn't have to be done. At least that's comforting.

I like that view - a lot...
maybe so Foxfyre..I still have three little boys and if I don't get it done before 3:00pm - it doesn't get done. I thrive on what I accomplish - so I need to either learn to take a breather and not sweat it - or get back my groove!
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 04:59 pm
You know Mismi, those three little boys won't care or remember whether it got done unless it is something critical to their well being. What they will remember is spending time with Mom, feeling safe, feeling important, feeling wanted, having fun.

For that matter do any of us want to be remembered for out spotless refrigerator or folded laundry? Or do more important things come to mind?
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 05:01 pm
I have been asking myself why it is bothering me so much. I think it is because I stay at home - it is my job and I want to do it well. I feel like if there are things that are not done that it is a reflection on me and that I am letting my husband down. I also just like to have things done - so I can enjoy the boys when they are home...
I think I just need to find a happy medium there. Before all three were in school - I had one that I had to take care of all day. What I got done, I got done...the rest was caring for him - which was my priority. Now that he is in school - I feel like this house should be immaculate - there is no reason for it not to be. Except my one foot being nailed to the floor. Rolling Eyes
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 10:48 pm
I hear you loud and clear. I'm sorta in the same boat even though my kids are probably older than you are. Hubby and I have been trying to wind down toward full retirement but I was the designated one to cut back sharply first but that leaves me with a lot more free time on my hands. So while we shared all the house and yard duties equally before, I now feel that a lot more of that is my responsibility. And you know what? I don't want to do it. Imagine that.

But I think neither of us can devote our reason for being to an immaculate house. The hubby and kids want it neat and presentable, but they honestly don't care if there's a little dust on the blinds or door jamb or you hide a few things in the oven or dryer. So you need a hobby or absorbing emotionally satisfying diversion just for Mismi--paint, learn to play piano, sing karaoke, volunteer at the museum, anything that provides emotional satisfaction and do that religiously. I think you'll find yourself able to do the essentials of housework more easily then.
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 10:54 pm
Foxy, boy! you sure are a sweet lady! [insert absolutely serious emoticon here]
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Mr Stillwater
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 03:15 am
If I may interrupt here... I may have a suggestion.

If you find that the interruptions (or distractions) you are dealing with seem to be part of a life picture (they have always been there, even when you were at school) and now appear to make it difficult to organise your house/work/life...

What may seem to another as being:
-lack of focus
-inability to finish tasks or letting distractions take over time
-low frustration threshhold
-always completing things at the very last minute in a burst of activity;
may have an answer.
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Mr Stillwater
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 03:22 am
I am not trying to 'diagnose' you over the net.

However, in the past year I have had to face the fact that I have never quite 'lived up to expectations'. I'm bright, but academically lousy. Inability to stay on focus - real difficulty in following through with things. Prone to frustration and irritability. This has been a real drag, I'm genuinely unable to move in a straight path, except for times of hyper-attention when required.

There's a name for it. There's no easy fix tho.

Like I said I'm not here to diagnose, just share some thoughts.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 04:15 am
Hey Dixie

Ahhhhhhhhhh.... there is so much going on in that head of yours a? sweet girl.

Remember those times before G-baby went to school - there was so much to always do... it was never ending and rushing the boys around here, there and everywhere and keeping house.

Well, with all 3 little fellas at school now, the time you once had which was filled with doing everything for everyone has left you with those few hours to spare. You have had to be organised and enjoy the house being neat and clean - that's great - it's who you are too - and you feel your responisbility now is to ensure it's immaculate - because, "what else is there to be doing?" I'm with Foxfyre completely (but then I'm biased towards the nice lady I know her to be) that you really need to have that "you" time - you are such a bundle of energy - you absolutely amaze me at what you achieve (though you don't see yourself as we do here) - I would go on board with finding something that is just for you, maybe not in the house either - I know the thought of going back to work is one that is playing on your mind - personally, I believe maybe you need to discover more about yourself now before heading back into work - but that's just a personal opinion on how I know you - I believe maybe you have spent so long "doing" for others that you've forgotten to "do" for yourself.

Of course, I may be projecting "me" (you know I have that tendancy (HA) to do that - but it did take me a looooooooooooong time to realise I was actually more than mother, daughter, sister, wife, and general "do-er" for what needed to be done. It felt selfish at the time, and wrong at the time - but now.... it does feel right.

I used to have the "show home" - now I realise, it really doesn't matter - again as FF says - if it's not done.... well, no matter, there's always another day.

You are such a fantastic Mom - you DO so much and it's completely genuine - it's what you love - you really are amazing. When G-baby was around, you had more interruptions which were G-baby's needs and then having seen to him, you could go back to doing the other things you were doing before, and there were never enough hours in the day - whereas now, the interruptions come in different forms - ones that aren't 5 years old, so are less important, but distract you from what you were starting. But that's also OK hun. There isn't a rule book here.... life is changing for you with your little fellas growing up. You've feathered a nest for a long time... now you need to go fly a little too.

I know there is other stuff rattling around in your head and that is something that is there and painful for you to come to terms with (hugs) - I also believe you have to be busy all the time (will be interested to see what Mr. Stilly has in mind) - but I think you know that your energy is in excess at times - (oh, if only.......... <sighs> <smiles>) so you need to be "doing" .... well, Mis has to find something that uses that energy up.

You enjoy exercise - or rather exercise enjoys you - it's get's you pumped up and makes you feel good after - how about joining a gym (finances permitting) and doing an aerobics class (as opposed to working out at home) - getting out the house and meeting people and working off the excess energy. Meeting up with your friends - and then creative stuff..... you can only paint the house so many times, or clean up so much.... find something creative that is also using that "energy".

And in "slow down" moments - reading...quilting which you enjoy.... writing... just chilling without feeling guilty.

It's coming into winter.... so less to do in the garden, kids are going to be tired as the term goes on... use the few hours you have doing something that makes you feel good rather than what you feel you ought to be doing for others (that doesn't have to stop, it just doesn't need to rule you) - in the end, you will feel better for doing it and find you are more productive in the "chore" sense -

it's losing the guilt for just doing something for you.... I know, for you, that will be hard - you do so much for your family - and this is good - but you also need to have something to call your own.

love you MisDixie x
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 07:07 am
Thanks Iz - I will get it all straight soon - I am sure. Comforting words sweet friend...thank you -

Foxfyre - thank you as well...sometimes things just are what they are huh? I do need to take time out to know what I want to do. I am not sure what I love to do anymore.

okay - I'll bite Mr. S....what is it you are talking about?
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 07:23 am
Yeah, I diagnose stayathomemomitis.

I'm a fellow-sufferer. Very Happy

Everyone varies here so I'll just talk about my own experience -- I must use those little grey cells or I go batshit. Laundry and dusting just doesn't do that for me. I like big organizational tasks but there are only so many of those that I can do.

At the same time, my husband works full time and I feel bad if I don't do at least my share of the housework. I can't NOT do it. (He's very good about doing his share.)

I find that if I have other brain stuff going on, I have more tolerance for housework. I volunteer, I work (part-time, from home), I participate in this and other websites, I'm the webmaster for one of the organizations I volunteer for. I spend a lot of time with friends.

Keep the brain going, and don't allow myself to get isolated.

I started on Abuzz when I was very pregnant and stuck at home (I quit my job and we moved from CA to IL when I was about six months pregnant) and so everyone I know online has only known me since I've been a mom.

When sozlet was about two, we went to visit some old friends. My friend Pete has known me a long time -- I met him when I was about 20, I think. I was talking to him, with another friend who doesn't know me as well listening in, about all this mom/housewife stuff I was doing. Pete was laughing and shaking his head. Other friend was confused... what was so funny?? Pete was like, "You don't get it, it's so NOT [soz]!"

I've always been organized and clean so it's not that part, but the whole stereotypical 50's housewife thing is just so opposite of who I've been my whole life.

If I keep a balance and don't feel like being a housewife is my job, then housework etc. becomes more incidental and less overwhelming.

Again... that's just my experience. I know a lot of people who genuinely enjoy that whole domestic goddess thing.
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:35 am
I have to agree Soz...I did not get married until I was 30. So I had been on my own and worked until I got put on bedrest with the twins. I went from working over 40 hours a week to nothing. Then from nothing to two babies. Overwhelming. I do think sometimes I have lost my identity - though I would have told you a few weeks ago I know who I am, I know what I want and I know what I like. I have been a bit befuddled lately. I have too much on my plate and it seems to have scattered my thoughts and emotions. I do think part of the answer will be to scale back quite a bit on my volunteer work, and getting my husband to help out a bit more with things. I will wade through it somehow. Good to hear others deal with it too though.
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 04:12 am
I have found that interruptions these days are harder and harder to get back from. For me, I blame creeping menopause.

In the meantime, though, interruptions happen. I've tried to handle them. A few ideas:
  1. As has been said before, there are things you may feel compelled to do that don't actually matter. So jettison them.
  2. Prioritize, and also understand what's got to be done before the boys get home. The answer to this question is not "everything". It is something like, "The vacuuming so that I don't bother their studying, but the dishes can wait."
  3. Of course folllow #2 above.
  4. When interruptions come -- and they are inevitable -- ask yourself if you can put them off until they are on your terms. Does the phone absolutely HAVE to be answered, or can you let it go to message? Can you even put it on a silent ringer or vibrate and just get back to whoever at some later time when you're not doing a million things? Doorbells are harder to put off, but phones are pretty easy these days, unless you're expecting a call on a job or about someone who's gravely ill. If it's family, and they question you about not answering the phone promptly, just tell them you were running errands and say no more about it.
  5. For things that require your fullest attention (e. g. the taxes), try to do them early in the day so that things like door bell rings are highly unlikely. Plus, you won't feel like the clock is ticking and you'd better finish in five minutes as the door is about to open and the kids are going to run in and things will be all in disarray. Obviously, doing the laundry is a far less attentive type of task. If you're still folding wash when the boys come home, what's the harm there?
  6. Oh and to go along with the last one, maybe sometimes the boys could help.
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 05:19 am
These are great suggestions Jespah. Thank you!
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2008 10:18 am
I did what you said Jespah...I prioritized my day. I actually added a thing - I turned OFF my computer (I have a tendency to use it to procrastinate) and I accomplished more yesterday than I have in a couple of weeks. It was a good day.

I sometimes wonder if I have just burned out a little. What you all have said as far as not sweating the small stuff...finding something that re-energizes me - I think that would be good.

I am way too goal oriented sometimes - and my my goals are just not as achievable now as they use to be. I might need to lower my standards a bit...is that a bad thing?

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