You know what it’s like. You make your plan to get something done in a particular time and life gets in the way. Something interrupts you. It can be anything, a work deadline, a meal time, a cleaning session, anything. As with so many things in life you often can’t change the distraction but you can change how your respond to it.
Today I was deep in concentration at work when I got an unexpected call from my Godmother. She wanted to know when she could pop round with Noah’s Birthday present.
Tonight I was busy cooking dinner for a friend, who was due round in half an hour, when I got a call from another friend wanting a chat.
On my lunch break I was out on my run with Freddie the dog when I met a neighbour walking her dogs. The dogs got excited and started a game of chase and we ended up chatting whilst we waited for them.
All of these incidents had the potential to get me frustrated. I could have got flustered about work because I was taking a personal call on work time. If my stress levels had increased I would have found it difficult to settle myself into work again. I could have panicked about getting dinner ready and been curt with my friend damaging our relationship. I might have got in a panic about being too long on my lunch break and have caused offence by rushing off.
The great thing is I avoided all of these potential pitfalls.
In a way all of these interruptions to my planned activities were great. The call whilst I was working demanded that I took a short break which did my concentration levels good when I got back to what I was doing. The call from my friend was lovely and we arranged a catch up tomorrow night which is great as I have nothing on, i’m looking forward to it. The conversation with my neighbour was lovely and my run after this chance meeting was faster and more exhilarating. I chased an excited Freddie all the way home. I really felt that all of these interruptions made my day better.
To start appreciating interruptions in your day try this…
1) Start small…pick an interruption that happens regularly in your life. Maybe getting a text message or a phone call. Make this your trigger.
2) Each time your trigger event happens take a deep breath.
3) Notice how you pay more attention to the person on the call or the message you read. See how much better you respond to others when you take just enough time for another deep breath.
4) As the habit becomes more familiar try adding another common interruption to your trigger list. The more you do it the more natural it will become.