The title of this post should be “not dealing with mental load & distraction”. I’m terrible at it.
When I’m focused on work, it’s like everything outside my bubble of creativity fades to shades of grey. It’s all consuming, addictive, and the source of my passion for affiliate marketing. I vanish into it. When I occupy this laser focused space, my mind is calm and I feel in control. It’s not a space I often occupy in my day to day life.
She Travels At Speeds of 1,000 Thoughts Per Hour
I’ve got the most shocking concentration of anyone I have ever met. If I was a superhero, and I had a catch phrase… it’d be “… oh LOOK!! A Squirrel!” It’s an exhausting way for a mind to operate. When I’m absorbed in my work, it’s an amazing break. From myself.
Over the years I’ve developed a “grounding routine” as I get ready to come into the office. First, I remove possible distractions to productivity. I spend 30 minutes tidying and hoovering the main living area of my house. I walk through it multiple times a day, and if it’s messy it affects my focus. Then I perform the daily ritual that removes residual mental noise. I make a coffee, and I concentrate on making it properly. The process of grinding the beans, pulling the shot, and texturing the milk pushes away mental disorganisation. Myself and my beautiful coffee head to the office and look things over, examining yesterday, planning for today.
Oh Heck Yes, This is The Sweet Spot Alright. Ahhhh….
So there I am… laser focused in the zone affiliate marketing woman, with superpowers fully engaged. Faint in amazement as I zoom through an infinite universe of money making ideas with ease. Gasp in admiration as I effortlessly fashion vast lists of hitherto untapped traffic bearing longtail key…
…word… and… “WHAT THE ACTUAL??”
*sigh* “OK, I’ll print you off another colour in sheet. Is that everything? Good! Now let me just see what…
… Ah yes! Weaving my PPC magic, instinctively finding the right product groupings to scale and replicate and…
*Distant Sounds of Bedlam*
… “I’ll just go and check out those competitor sites now and see… OH MY DEAR LORD WHAT NOW! Who has coloured this carpet in blue? Where’s your Dad gone?! No, stop crying. What? I don’t care who it was, I’m blaming both of you!”
That’s two real life examples that would have taken place in the space of 15 minutes. Every time I’m interrupted, it’s harder for me to get back into that blissful state of concentration. I get very, very frustrated when a train of thought is interrupted, I always have done (sorry, former work colleagues). The more frustrated I get, the more I focus on the fact I’m about to get interrupted again. In the end, I’m sitting attempting to work through gritted teeth. Where’s that zone gone? It’s the Twilight Zone we’re in now!
The Guru is Out
This situation right here. This is where my TED talk takes a turn in a successward direction! This is where I reveal all, my secret formula to doing it all and being a success in entreprenership as well as a flawlessly engaged Mother.
To quote my good friends in Queensland, “Yeah, Nah Mate”. I can’t do that. I love my children. And what have I realised?
I won’t get this time back. There’s no point in sitting stressing because I’m not able to maintain my focus when they’re around. I end up giving myself a hard time about all the work I’m not getting done, then I feel I have to keep trying to get something done, anything, because I’m not deserving of any time off on the grounds of unproductivity. Honestly, who actually could work with kids running into the office every 10 minutes or so with a new request?
So that’s why last year, about two weeks in to summer holidays and with my Mother in Law also living with us for a few weeks I leapt up from my office chair and yelled…
Oh sod all this!!
And spent the rest of the summer avoiding work like the plague. The anxiety I was causing myself was unbelieveable, my ability for self flagellation when I can’t get into the zone is infinite. So I lost my temper and refused to engage with it. I spent huge amounts of time taming my garden. Me and the kids weeded, planted, watered, and played.
Guess what? The business continued to pay me a wage without me worrying about it (although I still had my morning coffee and monitoring sesh). It was still there when summer holidays finished, and I had a terrific holiday with the kids.
Summer Break is Upon Us Once More…
So it’s holiday time again here in Scotland. But this year, I’m going to try and do things a little differently as I have a few projects half finished that I want to keep pushing along a little. I’ve asked the hubster to try *really hard* to organise his clients for the afternoons, leaving most mornings free for me to spend in the office. I’m not going to try to do anything complex, but I am going to keep up my PPC Challenge as I’ve enjoyed watching the revenue from this experiment grow and want to keep up the momentum. I’m also going to try and use the time to brief up some outsourcing on things I’ve been putting off. Oh, and hopefully I’ll do a little bit more work on this blog.
Anyhoo, the kids have been in the office about 105 times this morning (hubster had a date with 3 tons of topsoil and a wheelbarrow), and I wrote most of this post when they were away having fun with the Grandparents. I’ll keep on trying to find ways to combine work and family. Most importantly, I’ll forgive myself when I fail and keep trying new ways to find that balance!