While sitting at dinner, the other evening, I saw what looked like a hummingbird flitting around the basil in our garden. I even had Jim look, because hummingbirds aren’t supposed to go to green things. They are supposed to go after bright reds or oranges. Jim confirmed it was a hummingbird that was experiencing a distraction delay.
I’ve seen a number of hummingbirds, at our peach hibiscus tree. I often wish I had one of those fancy motion detector cameras, so as to capture them on film. Hummingbirds at the hibiscus makes sense, and is probably very rewarding for them. However, I had just picked the maturing flowers off of the basil, so there were no flowers to be had, only leaves.
Perhaps it was the freshly picked sweet scent that was still wafting through the air, but whatever it was, this poor hummingbird was definitely flitting around the wrong plant. Of course, hummingbirds don’t stay in one place very long, so the distraction delay wasn’t a big setback. Once the bird realized it was not going to fulfill its need at the basil, it moved on in pursuit of a proper plant.
It wasn’t a giant leap to make the comparison of this hummingbird and humans who experience distraction delays.
How many times do we start of in pursuit of a goal only to become distracted and find we are being delayed in reaching our goal?
I’ll fess up, I can be a perfect example of this. I sit down to check my email and while I’m at the computer, I click over to check my Facebook page and… 10-20 minutes later, I come to my senses and get back on track, checking email.
There are all kinds of other examples…
• Paper work … distraction delay … chatting
• House cleaning … distraction delay… dancing to the songs on the radio
• Homework … distraction delay … television
• Driving … deadly distraction delay … texting
Just to name a few!
If we could remember to be like the hummingbird and very quickly realize we are in a distraction delay, we can quickly return our focus to the task at hand.
Much like Dave Ramsey has his “Cheetah!” reminder, and many times people say “Squirrel!” when someone gets off topic, perhaps a simple reminder of “Hummingbird!” can help you realize you are being distracted by something and in a delay that is keeping you from completing your goal.
Hummingbird = refocus. Give it a try. It may help with those distraction delays.
(The picture is not one I took, it was a free download off the internet.)
*Pam Horton is a certified Stress Management coach in the Raleigh area.*