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Time Management: Distractions, Distractions

Another entertaining post from Cat Wentworth about putting my Time Management for Creative People series into action. This time she’s talking about the dangers of distraction:

For instance, I get thirsty.

Yes, I know. We all get thirsty so please bear with me …

I head for the kitchen where the watercooler is. By the patio door. So far, so good. But today, I took a right turn out the door to answer a buzzing dryer. Half hour disappears. I have clothes folded, a new lot in the washer and dryer. And the mail read.

(note to self: turn off buzzer)

Or how about making a cuppa.

Once more, I head for the kitchen. I glance outside. A plant needs rescuing. The next hour? Spent repotting plants, pointing a hose at the green and enjoying cool water on my feet.

(is there such a thing as mid-life ADD?)

As a writer, I find this painfully funny. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotations, from novelist Kingsley Amis: “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”

There are basically two kinds of distractions, the ones we create ourselves and the ones provided for us by other people. My latest time management post offers some suggestions on how to Ring-fence Your Most Creative Time. I’ll continue the theme this coming Friday on Business Of Design Online, where I focus specifically on the endless list of incoming demands that threaten to take away our creative concentration.

EDIT: If you prefer watching video to reading, here’s a time management training interview in which I explain some of the key concepts from the ebook.

Would you like your team to be more creative and productive?

If your team could do with some help getting creative work done in the midst of the demands and distractions of the 21st-century workplace, ask me about running my popular time management training workshop Time Management for Creative People for your organisation.


  1. Mark,

    I’m still laughing here 🙂

    Your series has been so enlightening for me. I mean, I never would have guessed on being an afternoon person. I’m the one who snarls in the morning to, “leave me alone, I’m working!”

    Ok, I’m not that bad. But, all my working life I’ve been protective of my morning time.

    It’s the time where I take advantage of the caffeine.
    (I’m a lightweight so morning is the only time I drink tea).

    What I’ve learned is that, lately, I’m miserable working in the morning. I can’t settle. Can’t concentrate. And as you read, I’m up and down and doing and going. Unless I’m designing.

    It’s in the afternoon, right about 3pm, where I get a WHOOSH of adrenaline to work on writing.

    How very odd. And how very enlightening!

    I’m now free from the guilt of not getting writing done in the morning.

    Free to get to other work in the morning.

    The series is not over (thank goodness!). And I’m looking forward to finding out other unexpected ways I work.

    Megga thanks Mark 🙂


  2. Thanks Cat, wish I had a woosh of adrenaline in the afternoon, I usually feel more like a siesta!

    Anyway glad to hear we’ve busted some guilt and you’re feeling the benefits.