By Bart Vogelzang

You’re doing something, something you really think is important, and along comes somebody who needs you to stop what you are doing in order to do something else. Not a problem for the most part, particularly if you are at work and your boss is the person interrupting with something more ‘urgent’. However…

You are now in the middle of tackling the new job, the old one’s materials having been shoved to the side of the desk (or desktop if it is computer work), and someone else interrupts with something even more ‘urgent’. Someone is in trouble down the hall, and needs help right away. Well damn! Off you go to help a compatriot in whatever way you can, hopefully not actually needing to resort to 1
st Aid.

Others are also rushing towards the office with the fallen co-worker, coffee cups still in hand, when two collide and damned if there isn’t now hot and slippery coffee all over the smooth linoleum floor, not to mention another co-worker down. Does this need to be fixed before someone else gets hurt?

At this point you need to seriously ask yourself if you are prioritizing properly. Are you responding to the seeming urgency, or to the power structure, or to your own preconceptions of what is important, or maybe even to your own subconscious desires as to what you’d really rather be doing, or getting away from?

How often do we tackle a job and ‘get distracted’? I’m sure we all have a bucket list (not the fun kind, but rather the “honey do…”) of things that we need to get done. Have you ever noticed that anything on that list is much more easily interrupted than the stuff we actually like to do? I mean, seriously, when was the last time you allowed an interruption in the middle of a quickie; or even a long drawn out romantic session? Now see if you can think of an instance when you were doing something really fun, like mopping the floors, or maybe doing the laundry, and you allowed a quick kiss to completely derail your work.

Interruptions ‘tackled’, obviously excluding real emergencies, are much more likely to be a reflection of what we would rather be doing than any actual need. Even the boss’ interruption can probably be put off, since it’s the boss’ work you are doing in the first place.

Which brings me to the point of this short article…it is the beginning of the month and I’m trying not to do the bill payments. Frankly, I’d rather mow the lawn, chop wood, or even shovel snow, than do the payments, but writing a short article is more fun that any of those. I’m sure when it comes time to shovel the sidewalks clean I’ll have something even more ‘urgent’ interrupt me.

© 2011 Bart Vogelzang All Rights Reserved