What to do about life’s little interruptions

Interruptions are inevitable. When you want to get something done, and you live with others, there will be times when your plans are thwarted. Sometimes, you really can accomplish what you set out to do no matter what, but it is less enjoyable and the intrusions lead to frustration. How do you recover from being interrupted? Do you keep going back to it after each pause, or do you give up? There is no right or wrong answer for this, but living in the “now” can really help.

Pema Chodron once said: “Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh.” In one of her talks, she discusses the fact that even when you fold laundry, it is a unique experience. Housework appears repetitive, but it is not. Recognizing that every moment is new and precious and that you really never know what is going to happen next, may at least help you deal with the nature of change. After all, the interruption may not have been part of your plan, but it is life. It is what is happening at the moment.

And there are practical things you can do too. Plan your tasks and do them in spite of what is going on around you. If you do not finish what you started—unless you have a hard deadline, schedule it for another time. If you do have time constraints, arrange your environment so you are not interrupted again. But when you plan to do a few ordinary tasks, and they don’t get done, lighten up. As Scarlett O’Hara famously said “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Sometimes, we have to just call it a day and start again the next.