My favorite writer on the topic of attentional issues is Edward Hollowell who wrote the books Driven by Distraction, Delivered from Distraction, and my favorite, Married to Distraction. His books contain abundant wisdom about managing an adult life in which it is difficult to focus and stay on-task. A Hollowell tip, find points in the day that work best for different tasks and do those things at those times! Of course, during this global pandemic, I can’t remember any of his other advice, so I’m just going to offer random thoughts:
We all have shining moments in our day. Mine are the notifications I get on my phone from Waze telling me how long it will take to get to my next meeting if I leave the house now. “Scheduling meeting with Chad – Light Traffic – Leave now to be there in 27 minutes.” During quarantine, I arrive to this meeting at my dining room table via Zoom in 27 seconds. I suppose I’m saving gas but I would love to get in my car and drive to that meeting at school.
Whenever I take the parkway here on Long Island there is a sign that says, “Stay home, Stop the Spread.” My 9 year old daughter, Juliet, who I drag along with me anytime I leave the house, always remarks, “Dad, aren’t they a little late. If we’re here, we didn’t stay home.” She may be falling behind in science but Juliet’s pretty observant.
None of you will admit it but now that you have less contact with people in the outside world, you have a version of “Re-Wear Chair”. The Jericho T-shirt you wore for only 10 minutes to do the morning announcements, the jeans you dressed in to buy an onion at the grocery, the collared shirt you donned for 20 minutes for a Zoom meeting attended by people who aren’t in your immediate family; I’m not gonna wash those! Have you seen the lines at Costco? I’m sure they’re out of Tide Pods! (Don’t tell my wife about the “Re-Wear Chair” She has yet to catch on.)
Can somebody tell my wife that although Wayfair does in fact have “just what we need”, we don’t need everything that Wayfair has? And would it kill them to throw an extra screw and a washer into the box. Also, what godforsaken units are used for that Allen wrench they include; it’s not metric, it’s not imperial! That Allen wrench is NOT in your toolbox. If you lose the bloody thing you better send the whole item back or are you going to use the box it came in as your end table.
It was W.C. Fields who declared, “Never work with children or animals.” For school leaders, this approbation has taken on a peculiar poignancy. Lately, I’m on video often. I try to clean myself up and my kids occasionally wander into the frame of the video, but my youngest daughter is nine years old and she already looks like a teenager (see video below). How can I compete with my colleagues who have babies, toddlers, and puppies jumping in their laps or onto the bed beside them? I’m open to ideas but it’s not like we’re getting any puppies or babies here before the quarantine is over. Suggestions to “amp up the cuteness” welcomed.
I know there was something I was going to do before I started writing this post, oh yeah, wash my hands. You should too! Stay safe, stay well, stay sane.