Image courtesy of Vlado at Freedigitalphotos.net/ A can go to C, but remember B!
One way to describe my thinking is that I am easily distracted – so much so that I have at one stage declared it is impossible for me to plan any kind of day - and stick to that plan!
For example, I may have 1. Exercise 2. Healthy Breakfast and later down the list 5. Do some writing. Somewhere between 2 and 5, it’s gone, totally. I have lost it. Without meaning to, something else has usurped my consciousness that convinced me on some level that it is more important, and plans – they matter little, so what the?
However, another more organised part of me does dwell within, though much deeper down, I suspect. So much deeper, it is just a little whisper most of the time that says “How are you going to reach those goals which you know are important to you, if you can’t go from A to B, and then from B to C, right down to the amazing conclusive F to G that denotes, if done more days than not, the life of the organised person I envy, I wish to emulate, I put on a pedestal…?
Well, it’s just that my brain naturally, well thinks on tangents. For example, I meant to tidy the house, first. I did it the other day and it looked, and forgive me for bragging, so good! I just had to (and have to) keep it up. However, upon delving into the dishes, it occurred to me upon feeling somewhat depressed, that a bike ride would be just the thing. I abandoned the dishes and went upon the impulsive venture and yes, I came back feeling quite remarkable. And ready to do the dishes.
However, something, some intangible force, drove me to the computer – to write. I just had to. I was self-chastising on the subject of my undisciplined mind. I knew that I would forget this might be a good idea about something to write about. Maybe I could write an article about how to overcome this psychological affliction of an undisciplined mind? And thus the dishes are left, soaking the dried bits of cereal, because I didn’t think to soak them.
Okay, I am not going to be too hard on myself – I believe there are actually some advantages of habitual tangential thinking – for others out there who can’t help but live totally spontaneously. However, I will balance out the argument, for at the moment I am of the notion that one must live to some kind of a structure, but be open to flexibility. How can the two be combined? It is possible!
1. It can lead to creativity. Creativity is difficult or if not impossible if you ignore the “must dos” totally at the mercy of the “that could be a good idea” along with “I will get back to it.” However, please, please, please, write those “must dos” on a board, or employ some other organisational system so that you do get back to them at some point during the time period it needs to be done in. For example, I must water the garden today, or I will never hear the end of it from a certain person.
2. Write down appointments, and things which cannot be changed in a diary, %%where you will look at it most indefinitely. I have suffered the consequences of not doing so by mistakenly thinking I had a convenient day time appointment with my doctor yesterday** which has had to be moved to a not-so-convenient night time slot after 7pm. (I have to walk there in the dark).
3. Have an overall plan of your priorities which you put in another place. For example, if it is important to you to have a healthy diet, and what you will have for lunch is not something that has room to be placed in your “must dos”, well, I have found that it just gets forgotten. So make it in “your must-dos”. It might be a routine, just-gets-done thing for some. If that is you, then don’t worry. But if you habitually skip meals, or realise at the end of the day you are incredibly hungry, write it down. My point is everyone’s to-do list is different, and what seems ridiculous to some to write down, is never ridiculous, if you forget it.
4.You do need some structure.Okay, and I am telling myself here most vehemently, no matter how boring, how unnecessary, and here are the ugly words for you spontaneous folk “a routine” sounds, it actually is necessary. These are things like breakfast, feed self and cat, etc. Yes, I am that bad. I get up, don’t make the bed, delay breakfast, and let my mind run wild with what I might do first. This is going to change for me, starting from today. I even have a nine to five planner right in front of me. I am psyched. My body and myself I believe will thank me for it. And it will thank you, too. The veracity of this statement is supported by fact that living chaotically makes me feel out of control, that my life is running with no direction, and that I am unruly, unorganised, and I always find myself inadvertently in a mess by missing appointments or by annoying others who I have promised things to but accidentally forget.
Yes, tangentially thinking – don’t abandon it, embrace it, and enjoy the creative outlet of it, after you do what you have to do.