Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Musings about the "Restarting Issue"

When I try to do something, I eventually hit a "groove"... if only I stay with it, long enough. Once I'm in a groove... the worst thing that can happen is someone interrupting me.

The problem?

It takes me forever to figure out "where I was" when I was interrupted, and then get back to moving forward again. In other words, a 5-minute interruption by someone who has an "unrelated question" can lead to my spending 20 minutes just getting back to the spot where I left off.

I have heard others who live with inattentive ADD speak of this issue.

It feels like I have an utter and complete inability to "bookmark" stopping points in the daily process of life... and sometimes I end up wasting what feels like a huge part of my day doing little more than "running in place," trying to get back to work.

I am actually remarkably productive when I am left alone in a quiet room with only my music and no interruptions and my tasks I need to get done.

As a writer, I can turn out 1500 words of high quality article prose in less than an hour... but if someone interrupts me-- even when the article is 95% done... it suddenly becomes almost impossible for me to finish the task. It seems stupid. Or dysfunctional... because it's all right there. Yes? I can't "access" my train of thought anymore.

I used to say (jokingly) "My train of thought has left the station, but I am still standing on the platform."

Alas, it's far more "real" than a joking matter.

It's hard to describe what physically happens. I can only think of it through the analogy of using your web browser. The "tab" I am working on, not only "closes" when an interruption forces me to switch to another tab... but when I need to get back to the closed tab, I need to spend all this time searching through my "browser history" to find the page I was working on. And once I get the "old" tab opened again... then I am struggling to remember exactly what my last "operation" was... and what my "next step" was supposed to be.

It makes very simple tasks extremely laborious. And I have not yet found an effective way around it...

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