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Interruptions and Disruptions: “Stuff” Happens

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It happens every time, you can count on it.

When life is most stressful, interruptions and disruptions are almost a certainty. Weird how that is, but it’s a fact.

It may just be that interruptions and disruptions are more noticeable when we’re stressed or that they actually occur all of the time. Be that as it may, stress builds because of them and it can be almost unbearable.

Between worrying about my wife and finances, I can sometimes be stretched pretty tight. It doesn’t take much of an interruption to set me off. Working at home as I do, deliveries can be a minor interruption. If I’m on deadline and I have to break my train of thought to answer the door and sign for a package. There’s an example of an interruption.

An example of a disruption would be the weather. You’d think that weather wouldn’t be a problem when you work at home, but it is for me! We live in the mountains, where roads have lots of curves and upgrades and downgrades; not the best situation with snow and ice. If snow is predicted I have to assume that we won’t be able to go anywhere for a while, so I make sure that there is enough gasoline for the snow thrower and for the generator (just in case), enough food in the cupboard, help bring in the dog beds and other outdoor-things that can’t be in the snow, etc.

Then, when the snow comes, I have to clear the driveway before the snow freezes, shovel walkways and stairways, walk the dogs and feed the horse because my wife has to be careful on slippery surfaces, etc. It really doesn’t matter how much I have to do, when the weather comes a-callin’, it has to take priority.

If these things are stressing you, that’s an indication that you are already overloaded and need to do something to manage the additional stress. What to do?

Here are some suggestions. During a major disruption, you need to feel like you are doing at least SOMEthing that you were supposed to be doing. I suggest that you try to find a small piece of your original obligation and complete it before tackling the new priority. It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but it will give you a sense of progress and help you to realize that not all is lost.

Many interruptions can be managed; some things can be scheduled (like the plumber) and others can be controlled (turn off the phone and let it go to voice mail).

When you have to sign for a package, well, just do it and get back to your stressful life.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.