One of my favorite books is Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance. I've been reading it, off and on, for the last 10 years. It's a daybook so there is a beautifully written, inspirational passage for each day of the year. I picked it up last night and read the March 1 passage about restoring serenity to your daily endeavors. Sarah described a woman who "will begin to brush her teeth only to leave the bathroom to start making her bed while she is still foaming at the mouth". She saw the unmade bed and before she could rinse her mouth, she had moved on to the next task. I'm embarrassed to say that I am guilty of the same odd, compulsive behaviors. I often have to remind myself to finish what I'm doing before moving on to the next task.
In our crazy lives, with constant distractions and commitments, it can be difficult to stay on track. This applies to every aspect of our lives, not just work. Staying in the present moment when your child is reading a book – really listening and interacting instead of daydreaming about what tasks have to get done before you can collapse into bed.
Awareness is key to overcoming this obstacle. When you find yourself becoming distracted, acknowledge it and bring yourself back. It takes practice but like any new habit, with time it becomes easier.