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Procrastination and Distraction Kill the "Buzz"

I am so loving Sharon Salzberg’s new book Real Happiness at Work, which I agreed to read, put into practice, and blog about for the next month.  This week’s focus was on understanding how gathering our scattered mind through practicing mindfulness meditation leads to greater happiness. 


In general, if our thoughts are pulling us away from what is happening at this very moment, it is not possible to really experience or enjoy anything in a fresh way.  If we can get out of our head – back into our body, and really address one thing at a time….we have a better shot at doing a good job, and feeling good about what we are doing.


On the other hand, procrastination and being caught by distraction literally drain us of energy and joy.  Procrastination by definition is literally putting off or delaying something you know you should be doing at that time.  How good does that feel?  Not so good really. 


In fact, why am I writing this blog post 30 minutes before time to put it on the web when I have been thinking about it for the last few days??  Good question.  Although I have meant to be working on it all day, I have let myself address a myriad of other small tasks first, thinking I have lots of time left to get this done.  I have a habit of procrastinating.


Sharon’s book nailed me. I work at home, so it is up to me to be focused.  I meditate regularly and know my myself pretty well by now, and yet I still was hijacked by all the small tasks I accomplished, emails I peeked at because me computer pinged and a sudden pall of exhaustion that hit after lunch when I told myself to get to the computer. These did not seem like distractions at the time; after all I did get many things accomplished, just not what was at the top of my priority list.


There were many psychological reasons for putting things off, but ultimately when I put my mindfulness to work, I was back on track.  I needed to remember that my mindfulness practice strengthened my ability to “just say no”, to let go of whatever grabbed my attention, and return to what I really intended to accomplish.


I actually feel great now that I am focused and have written this piece!  I have so much energy, I think I’ll get to work on that next chapter of my book that I have been putting off……

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