Easily Distracted? Me Too.

By ERIK ORTON

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Getting distracted is the easiest thing in the world.  We all walk into a room, forget why we came, try to remember and walk out.  Or an email comes in.  Or a text, or Facebook, or Instagram.  I do it.  You do it.  We all do it.

This morning my son was sitting on the couch with his game pad.  I asked him, “Didn’t you just say you wanted to go play with Daniel?”  Oh, yeah!  Right.  He stood up and walked out the door to go find his friend.  Even if it’s something we want to do, we get distracted.

We’re pretty good at giving ourselves reminders for things we “have to” do:  conference calls, deadlines, dental appointments.  But what about reminders for the things we want to do?

I used to think bookmarks were boring.  I used index cards, grocery receipts, a torn off scrap of paper, sometimes my own business card, anything to not lose my place in whatever book I was reading.  Boring.  But then I discovered bookmarks could change my life.  (It’s always the little things.)  I came back from my first trip to Yosemite.  I had the tag that was tied to our tent to prove we paid for our site.  Instead of throwing it in the trash, I tucked it in the book I was reading. 

It did a couple things.  Every time I opened that book, it reminded me of the great memories I made on that trip.  It also reminded me I wanted to go back to Yosemite with my family.  I got a little boost remembering, and a gentle reminder to go the next step.  Big things always happen in baby steps.  Now I’m very deliberate about my bookmarks, screen savers and backgrounds.  I use them to encourage myself along a path I want to take.

So back to not getting distracted.  Here are some examples of reminders I give my self:

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The tag above is from my first Yosemite trip in 2016.  We stayed in Camp 4.  The tag below was from our return trip in 2017 with the family.  I love tucking these into books I'm reading.

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This sticker below was a free giveaway at the rock gym.  Every time I see it, I'm reminded to get strong and get climbing.

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We attached this yellow tag to our dinghy when we stopped in Charleston while sailing Fezywig.  I get to remember that beautiful spot and a gentle reminder I love living on a boat and want to get back out there.

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Emily uses this Valentine’s Day card as a bookmark.  I'm a lucky man!

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As for screen savers, I want to travel to Patagonia and climb Los Torres del Paine.  That’s why these images are currently the lock-screen and background screens on my phone.

Central Tower, Torres Del Paine, Chile.  Photo courtesy of Nico Favresse, Siebe Vanhee and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll

Central Tower, Torres Del Paine, Chile.  Photo courtesy of Nico Favresse, Siebe Vanhee and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll

Torres del paine, Chile.  Photo by Nicolas Secul Ojeda (via Climbing Magazine) 

Torres del paine, Chile.  Photo by Nicolas Secul Ojeda (via Climbing Magazine) 

This picture was on the back of our bedroom door once we decided what model boat we wanted to buy.  I saw it every day and night.  Eventually, we bought this very boat.

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I love picking my lock screen, background images and bookmarks, because I get a sneak peak of what's coming into my life.

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