With lots of ripe bananas hanging out in my kitchen, I decided to make a batch of Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and a batch of banana muffins. The kids were anxious for the muffins - I was anticipating cookies. Lucky for them, I started the muffins first and ran out of eggs. :-) It's been awhile since the combined aroma of cinnamon, vanilla, and banana has been in my kitchen...too long, in fact, and I'm enjoying it immensely.
This week I read a book titled Attack Your Day Before It Attacks You by Mark Woods. Because planning my day early is a weakness of mine, I was challenged by the solutions that Woods offered. Particularly intriguing was the segment on distractions. He mentioned that distraction recovery (the time it takes to re-focus following a distraction) can take three times as long as the distraction itself. I don't think I had ever heard that, but it really makes sense that it would be a valid statement. Sometimes I become so frustrated because I seem to get less done now than in the same amount of time nine years ago when three of my kids were practically babies and number four wasn't even on the horizon! Granted, I was nine whole years younger, but really my energy levels should be higher now than then simply because I actually get sleep, I'm not nursing, and my kids are pretty self-sufficient (with guidance, of course!). I should have more disposable time because I'm not changing diapers, fiddling with car seats, and rocking babies.
But the whole distraction thing has me thinking. Thinking about myself, my students, highly productive people I know, and less productive people I know. How much of my day is eaten by distraction recovery? For instance, I'm grading papers and have to make a call to a parent about something. As soon as I pick up my phone, I see that I have four texts and six new emails all within the last 30 minutes. Instead of just making the call and resuming grading, I reply to each text, and read and respond to the emails that aren't junk. Yes, this is just one little time-sucking example, but this process repeated throughout the day is a recipe for time-management disaster!
Although I'm still in the process of identifying distractions, I really want to develop a plan to be more focused and productive. I believe I'll be doing little time studies on myself next week, seeing what I actually accomplish in small blocks of time. I may even have to put a rubber band on my wrist every time I recognize a distraction, just to see how many rubber bands I accumulate by the end of the day. :-)
But for now, I'll just enjoy having banana muffins with my kids - without wishing the muffins were Banana Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies - and snuggle in with them on the couch to watch a powerful DVD that we feel it is finally time to share with the family (Sarah's Choice).
I hope your weekend is full of love, warmth, and worship!