I have ADHD, so I am very easily distracted. Quite often I need to multitask just so I can distract myself from the distractions. Some are just unavoidable, though, and they seem to get to me regardless of what I do. Here are five of them:
1) My daughter. She is probably the biggest distraction I have. She has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD as well, and right now I am the only person she seems to want attention from. That means every time she needs something, even if her dad is available, she insists on coming to me. Anyone who knows about ASD knows it’s hard to sway a kid like this once they get something in their head, and you learn that they have a reason for it, even if you don’t know what that reason is (in other words, they’re not doing it to annoy you…in fact, that is something they would never consider doing). So I try to encourage her to go to her father, but if we start hitting the meltdown yellow zone, for now I have to just humor her and take care of things myself.
2) Outside noise. Any little bit of outside noise is a distraction to me, whether it’s a car going by, the ice cream truck, or kids playing. Generally I have to wait for the noise to pass before I can concentrate on writing again.
3) The clouds. Yes, the clouds. If I can see the clouds through my window while I’m writing, they will distract me. I love watching the clouds and the minute I see them passing by, I either have to turn myself around or allow myself to succumb to the momentary distraction until the cloud finally passes. Sometimes I get some good ideas while cloud watching, though, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
4) My husband. If he finds something cool on the internet he just has to show me right there and then. No, it cannot wait. I’ve even told him to email things to me and I’d look at it when I’m done, but no. It’s easier for him to just tell me about it right then. Sigh…
5) My own thoughts. You know, it just happened right after I wrote that. LOL My brain is always going a million miles a second, and it’s hard for me to keep up sometimes. Most of the time multitasking helps with this, but other times even that’s not enough. I might have other things on my mind, in which case I will need to take care of those things first, or I’ll never be able to write. Other times the story I’m working on plays through my head so quickly, I can’t keep up with the typing. I can end up three or four chapters ahead before I realize I’ve got to catch up with the actual writing.
There are other things that distract me as well, but these are my five biggest distractions. What things distract you from writing, or doing what you’re supposed to be doing?