Everyday noise from people, places and objects just gets to me.
I've been thinking about writing this piece for a while. Not so much procrastinating like I usually do, maybe just assessing what specific noise annoys me, and also quietly processing how to have less of it in my every day life. All day. Every day. How do I, even we, switch off from it?
What noise am I talking about?
First off, I started to list on my fingers the type of noise that irritates my working day. I counted them up and got to 9. Phone calls, texts (on your phone and desktop), What's app, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and emails (from several accounts but let's just count them as a collective one). It's easy to get distracted and to respond to each of these producers of noise. But it's getting too much.
Can clearing out the noise be done?
So how do I have less distractions, less noise and be less annoyed? All the while getting some work done with no interruptions? Switch my phone on silent? Switch it off completely during set working hours? Limit answering emails to a window of time within the day? Delete all notifications from apps on my phone? Or more simply, leave my phone in my bag until lunchtime or the end of the day when I've had a run at work with no interruptions and probably gotten through a shitload of work whilst at it?
Or in fact something more simple - be conscious of switching off. Having some peace and quiet and repeating my new mantra 'Joy before annoy'. Because that's what was getting to me. All the noise from the interruptions/alerts.
Although I have to admit, I'm to blame. We're all to blame actually because we've chosen to allow said noise into our lives. I think it's time we took control and relied less on these distractions filling up our lives, eating up our time, making us say we're busy all the time.
We're busy fools that's what we are.
How do we change our priorities?
We live in a world where being busy has become the norm. We feel angst from our bursting calendars yet feel guilty when there's idle time and blank spaces staring at us.
For me these days, arranging a catch up with friends, even meetings with clients is beginning to feel like herding cats. I like being busy but I resent my choc-a-bloc schedule. After all, where does it get me? Is it giving me pleasure? Joy before annoy. Remember? I've begun to stop saying 'I'm busy". It's annoying me so it must be annoying my mates too. So what do I say instead? Nothing. They assume I'm busy and and when I come out the woods then that's a cue to do something joyous and a reminder to do it more often. Joy before annoy. Getting it yet?
There is a needy side to being busy that we rely on as individuals even though we may not be aware of it. Busy-ness gives our lives a sense of purpose. And if we're not being busy, we must be being lazy.
So what am I/you going to do about it?
Yes I'm including you the reader as I'm sure you'll agree with a little bit or a big bit of what I'm saying. Let's start by saying we want to "do more of nothing". It's a start. Then let's schedule an event into our calendar that says 'Do Nothing'. Will we feel less guilty about doing nothing because we've planned for it? Who knows...let me know if you do.