Before we go any further here, stop for a moment and take a deep breath and think back over the past few hours. Have you been distracted at any point? How many times? Did you even realize at the time that you were being distracted?
In the spirit of total transparency, I’ll admit to typing the title of this blog post and then spending the following 5 minutes (or so….) staring out the window, thinking about refilling my coffee mug, glancing over my daily calendar, wondering if I should change the music selection on iTunes, sending a quick chat message to my husband, and THEN putting down some words. We all fall victim to distractions.
And it’s not enough to simply notice when you’re being distracted. Sure, we can say “oops, my mind drifted off there for a moment, where was I?” and continue on with whatever task is at hand. That’s easy.
But why all the distractions?
I heard someone giving a talk recently about the purpose our distractions serve, what they do for us, and more importantly– what they cover up for us.
Going back to use myself as the example here, the many distractions I experienced when beginning this blog post were really about worry. Worrying about how to best write this post. Worrying about whether or not anyone would read it. Worrying about if I’m approaching this topic from the right angle. Worrying about whether or not it’s even relevant to any readers out there. And so I procrastinated and distracted myself from taking action.
Granted, writing a blog post ranks pretty low on the list of terribly important things in life. But use it as an illustration, and think back to a few of the situations you thought of when I asked you to remember when you felt distracted over the past few hours. What was the deeper reason behind those distractions? What was the distraction helping you avoid or cover up? Pain? Uncertainty? Depression? Anxiety? Worry? Fear? Boredom?
But here’s the thing– distraction doesn’t help solve any of those situations. It just acts as the band-aid to cover them up. It’s not until we can identify the problem and decide on a course of action that things begin to improve.
So the next time you notice yourself getting distracted, stop and ask what’s going on behind the scenes!
If you’re curious about music therapy might help you, contact me anytime. I’m always happy to answer questions!