| Written by Ronnie |
Generally speaking, memory keeping requires thought, focus, and concentration.
Distractions, therefore, are often a big obstacle when it comes to documenting the stories of our life.
And because it is not always easy to ignore distractions, a much better, more pragmatic approach is to actively avoid them.
This usually entails planning ahead.
In other words, try to look ahead and set aside time when you know that there won't be as many distractions around.
For example, I never plan to do any memory keeping when I am with my children during their 'awake time' because I know from experience I'll just end up spending the entire time fielding questions, mediating disputes, pouring milk, and fetching Lego from the top shelf.
Instead, I schedule my weekly blocks of time for sorting photos, journaling, editing photos, and creating life album layouts during times when I know my children are either napping, at school, or sleeping at night. This allows me to enjoy my time with my boys when I am with them, and also means that I can get all my memory keeping done with the focus and concentration that I need.
Similarly, if you know that your favourite television show is going to be on at a certain time, I would strongly advise against planning to do any of your memory keeping during that time. Whilst the thought of 'killing two birds with one stone' is appealing, the reality is that you won't fully enjoy watching the show and you'll end up feeling stressed and frustrated with yourself that you didn't manage to get more done during that time. Much wiser to plan your memory keeping on a night when there's nothing good on television. (And yes, I speak from experience...)
Other simple things you can try to actively avoid distractions:
- Purge the clutter from your workspace so that you are less likely to be affected by physical distractions.
- Log out of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest on your desktop and on your smartphone.
- If you really struggle with online distractions, try downloading free the SelfControl app (only available for Mac). The software gives you two options for avoiding distractions: you can either "white-list" certain sites for a certain interval of time, or you can "black-list" certain sites for a certain internal of time. When you choose the former, the software only allows you to visit those websites that you have white-listed for the time interval you have specified. When you opt for the latter approach, the software blocks all the websites that you have black-listed so that you cannot visit any of those sites for the designated time period. Definitely worth checking out if you are seriously about getting stuff done!
If you have any other tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments below.
You can read the other posts in this series here.