A glazed look, a wandering gaze
Watching the TV, reading a book and then realizing you have no idea what’s happening
Mind wandering during a conversation
Digging through pockets or purse
Checking email/texting/messaging instead of focusing on a person or task
Losing a train of thought
Forgetting what one was about to say
Pinching the eyes shut forcefully and then opening them ad blinking, trying to stay focused
Zoning out during a conversation or activity
Sitting still, barely breathing, attention focused inward
Tapping fingers against a tabletop or leg,
checking a watch for the time
Muttering, “Uh-huh, sure” or, nodding without really listening.
Fidgeting, moving around in seat.
Playing with food, ripping up a napkin, tapping finger against a coffee cup
Answering questions without gusto, pausing for unduly long amounts of time
Affirming that yes, you were paying attention
Feeling sleepy or sluggish
Cocking the head or leaning toward another conversation to overhear it better
Rubbing a hand through the hair, massaging temples, trying to restore attention
Leaning back in a chain, body posture pulling away from the action or conversation
Wandering about aimlessly, restlessness
Doodling in a notebook
Picking off bits of nail polish, drawing on hand, etc
Writing notes during class
Aimless Internet surfing
Being unable to answer a question because you weren’t following along
Being clumsy or getting injured as a result of not paying attention
Playing with hair, picking at a hole in the jeans, pinching lint from a sweater
Body starts to turn toward a distraction (an event, other people, a source of noise, TV, etc)and away from those you are with
Reading blogs, face book, online games instead of working
Playing with jewelry (spinning a ring on a finger, zipping a charm back and forth on a necklace)
Having to ask someone to repeat the question or a comment.
Being run into or bumped
Delayed reflexes & reactions
Nodding or agreeing to cover up the fact you totally missed out on a question or conversation
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.
I am SO easily distracted.
I will be in the middle of a sentence talking to my husband, and will just stop (usually because of something my children do). He says, “Focus!” :0)
PJ Hoover says
This is a really useful one! So many times I just say “glanced away”!
See ya, and thanks!
LOL, too funny!
C.R. Evers says
How is this for irony. I was at your blog earlier this morning, but I didn’t post because I got distracted! Maybe you should add that to your list! ;0)
Another great list, (that hits a little too close to home.) ;0)