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The Flies Of Distraction

Hey look, a fly!

Have you ever sat in a place where there seem to be more flies than you want buzzing around?

The issue is that they have their own agenda, and most of us don’t have a clue what that agenda might be.

It may just be that their sole purpose in life is to land on us or our coffee cup rims and annoy the bejeebers out of us.

Yay! Success!


Well, success for the flies. Not so much for us.

And why am I mentioning this? Well, because the little devils made me realize that there are at least two different kinds of distraction in our lives.


There are things that grab our attention and say, “Look here, this is big and bold, complicated, has problems that need to be solved, can hold our attention for hours (or minutes that seem like hours).

These are the distractions that manifest like this, you’re doing the laundry or something important but maybe not that exciting and at the end of the day you can list seventeen different things that weren’t on your to-do list that you got done, but the first of five loads is in the dryer and the second is in the washer and the rest …



Okay, maybe not just flies. There’s things like you’re trying to write something in a cafĂ© and there’s that person with the screeching, grating, annoying, loud voice and they’re exclaiming in a full two octaves of emotion just how ecstatic they are that the cashier does in fact have their debit card that they left in the machine and then searched for for the last three hours in every place they’d been including the car and their house and they are so, so, soooooo very glad that it has been recovered because they don’t know what they’d do.

But really, it’s about the same as flies.


Why do these distractions irk me, and possibly others, so much?

Well, my theory is that it is because of my very flaky working memory.

It’s like this …

When that voice, or the fly that lands on my nose or my hand of my cup, distracts my attention for even a second, when I return my attention to what I was working on, I will have lost my place in the train of thought I was having.

And that means I will have to retrace my steps from my last known mental location.

And sometimes when I’m doing that I realize that I’ve already done this before at this very place. I realize that this is the third or fourth time I’ve been distracted from typing the very next word.

And sometimes I will just end up wandering away in the middle of a

The Flies Of Distraction

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2018). The Flies Of Distraction. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 4 Jul 2018
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