Like yesterday, sometimes I complain to the Universe about what it's trying to do to me. There's several tricks the Universe plays. Like when I buy something nice for myself (ie. not something that is absolutely needed, typically more expensive that $25, and/or could be purchased to make my life easier - an example is I need new glasses) the Universe sends something that either 1) costs a whole lot more money and needs to be done (ie. car/home repair or something health related) or 2) bad news of some sort (like being informed that an employee has resigned, or needs to be fired, and I need to hire in the next person - although, ha ha, Universe, I don't do that anymore :: gives the Universe a raspberry ::).
The Universe also has this habit of trying to distract me from things I like to do.
Here's an example. I've listened to the Writing Excuses episode discussing the "Hollywood Formula" with Lou Anders a few times (episode 6:18, 10-02-2011). This morning I wanted to listen to it again and take notes (as this will help me keep the lesson in my head). I started trying to do this at 8:30am (I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while working, which is why sometimes detailed things in the audio get lost as I focus in on actual work, not what I'm listening to). Since then I've had 5 phone calls, had to go to someone's office twice, was interrupted in person three times, three IM conversations, and a few other things. The podcast is 20 minutes long. I've gotten 2 minutes in with all the distractions.
Understand I can go for weeks at a time without a phone call. The only times I normally go to someone's office is for information I need (instead of them calling me to their office). While I do get interrupted in person several times a day (ie. people coming to my cubicle), it's normally first thing when I get in, near noon, 3pm, or end of day. The IMing and email is ongoing, but much of it wasn't really about me, but other people's crisis (and other things).
I can hear you asking the question, "So, Steve, just how did you get time to write this post, then?" That's because this last time I came back to my desk, I didn't put my headset on. I didn't try to restart the podcast. That is, I'm not doing the thing I want to do to improve my writing (the Universe can be a bitch about my writing times and attention). So, because of that, it's now been the longest stretch of time today where I haven't been interrupted (about 10 minutes).
This is what I'm talking about.
Update in the 10 minutes after this post, I've had 8 emails, 2 immediate requests for help and 1 new project (which will bump back all the other projects). Because the Universe figured out I also like blogging.
Update 2 In the past 5 minutes of restarting note taking, 8 emails, one of which needs me to "call (someone) right now to solve problem." Which I'm about to do.
Update 3 It's now 2:20pm, finally finished the 20 minute podcast taking notes (I had to rewind a few times).