I am a day-dreamer.
This is my downfall. This is my time-waster. I began daydreaming over a decade ago as a way to pass time. I often had to wait, and daydreaming made the time go by as if it were nothing at all. And it is still the same. And it is much worst. My ability to control when they happen and my desire for them is difficult is difficult to the point of feeling impossible.
While doing any task (in years gone by this included walking) which does not adequately use enough brainpower I begin to daydream. In most cases I don’t call for it. It simply happens. I have spent hours daydreaming only to be called from it and then realize that I was daydreaming, and that the task I’d been doing was incomplete, and the object of focus still in my hands.
I have been and continue to try staying firmly in this world. But it’s not that easy for me. I’m generally alone, and with less and less persons to converse with as my friends find more interesting things to do with their lives, daydreams are enticing. Of course I could do many things but my Internet connection is a hindrance. You may also be thinking I could find more friends but my brand of weird makes that more difficult than it is for most. (Excuses, excuses. Right? I know.) But this is how it is. A lovely, and torturous cycle which helps me to survive and stifles me at the same time.
I’ve tried a few things to keep myself involved in the task at hand and out of day-dreaming. Watching television is helpful to an extent. However, this is tricky. Depending on how much time I’ve got I may pay more attention to the television than is necessary. Then there’s deciding what to watch. No, I can’t just put on the television if I’ve got time on my hands, or I’ll end watching it.
The show must: have commercial breaks; allow for the viewer to follow even when eyes aren’t on the screen; and be sensible. I’ve got to be sure to choose shows which aren’t to engaging as well. But how engaging a show seems also depends on my mood. At times I can leave the television on the Graham Norton Show and just listen, and at other times I need something more on the bland or predictable side like pre-watched Frasier or Golden Girls episodes. When watching I usually focus on the task during commercial breaks, while giving a little to both when the show is on. This method allowed me to write 8000 words in approximately 5 hours while watch SVU. But as you can see this requires some effort, is also time-consuming, and does give the same result all the time.
Then there’s music. Again how well this works depends on my mood. After putting together a playlist which evokes a calm and allows me to focus I can get to work. However, the flaw with this is that the music can also trigger daydreams as well. For instance, I’ll hear a word, or a phrase and a daydream following the storyline begins.
I just might have found the fix.
Today (well yesterday), I did something different. I tried listening to an Audiobook I’d completed some time ago. Because I know the story I don’t need to focus on it. But it’s there playing. When my mind is not very occupied with the task, I listen to the story (I love stories), and when my mind is very occupied it continues playing in the back waiting for my mind to take a break. These breaks would be where the daydreams would jump in unrequested. Instead, at the break I hear the story and do mentally recap of what I’ve missed. It kept me alert, and I also picked up on points I missed when I first listened to it. (‘It’ being Still Alice)
I hope this is a permanent solution. Daydreaming might seem like a choice, and I it is at times. But it is also a prison. How would you feel starting a project today which is due three months from now only to be derailed every time you tried only to a arrive at the day before with less than half of the work done? Angry, annoyed, not worth your weight in gold, and definitely not as smart as the average bear. (Yogi Bear reference)
I hope this is my solution.
If you have any suggestions, please share them.