Have you ever been in a place where you are in a really great mood, so full of energy, but really unsure of what exactly to do? This for me can come after a cup of coffee, a great phone call, a great meeting, or the solving of a problem. This place is very good yet hard at the same time. With so much energy, I bounce all over the place from emails to half written documents to IM, and back again. This is really where I seek distraction.
As I talked about yesterday a bit, I seek distraction in information overload. I read books, blogs, newspapers, check my stocks, check the market etc. Somewhere along the way I learned that answers come from information gathering. So it almost becomes an addiction. I would bet that many people experience this phenomenon, especially if you work on a place like wall street where you have in the past been able to find profitable answers in the morning’s wsj. With that kind of positive reinforcement, your body gets hooked and seeks for the next bit “hit” that is just around the corner in the next blog, tomorrow’s paper, etc. Don’t get me wrong, reading and keeping up to date is a great way to learn, grow, and spur new ideas. But it’s important to not turn this into a crutch, as I often do, when you’re uncomfortable about what to do next.
The question is then, how do you move through the distraction, especially when you have so much energy? You cultivate it. Get up, break your old habits, move around. For me I’ve recently found that putting on music, getting up and moving around with a pen and paper to reevaluate my situation works very well. Instead of trying to hush up the energy with distraction, I let the excitement out through movement and wide open brainstorming. Instead of fighting it back, allowing it to overcome, or trying to drown it out, I use it. I welcome it.
If you often feel distracted while at work or at home, time to try something new. The same reaction will continue to yield the same results. Are you truly happy with those results?