You're reading Sentences, etc., a design and development blog by Justin Michael.


The act of creating things is inherently distracting. When we create, we push boundaries. New ideas form. These new ideas are often not applicable to the task at hand, but are nevertheless tempting to explore.

Creating something will often require research. Research leads to new knowledge and new possibilities. Many of these new possibilities will be shiny and new and compelling, but do they apply to your current project?

And cats exist. Cats are naturally drawn to people engaged in the act of creation, and tend to insert themselves at the nexus point of that physical act. This nexus point is usually located where you and your tools intersect, meaning there’s often going to be a cat on your keyboard, or rubbing up against your paint brush.

While strongest in cats, this behavior is also exhibited by various other animals, including dogs, birds, spouses, friends, relatives, and even ferrets.

It’s all very distracting, and that’s okay. It’s okay to get distracted. It’s natural, expected, and all but impossible to avoid. It is, however, not okay to stay distracted. It’s a constant struggle to maintain focus, but the fruit of that struggle is success.

Be wary of distractions. If you find that you’ve become distracted, set the distraction aside and refocus (note that cats will often have to be set aside multiple times). Remember why you started. Remember what you wanted to accomplish. Stay focused on achieving your goals.