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The value of strategic buffering

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Have you ever found yourself surfing the web, checking e-mail or scrolling through social media when you were supposed to be doing something else? If you raised your hand, you're not alone. Master Life Coach Brooke Castillo, calls this distracted behavior, buffering.

There are numerous ways to buffer. Some people open the fridge and cabinets looking for a snack. Others, browse Amazon just to see...

Instead of simply browsing the web, what if we could train ourselves to buffer more strategically?

We buffer in a variety of ways, including in the ways mentioned above. The only requirement to "buffer strategically" is to do things that move you forward in another area in your life.

Need a break, get up and throw a load of laundry in the wash. Need a break, plan for tomorrow. Need a break, plan an outing. Need a break, check your account to keep an eye on your money. In other words, do low mental energy tasks that your future self will thank you for!

Do you notice when you buffer? What about how you buffer? Pay attention when you feel distracted and notice what you are doing. See if you can catch yourself buffering. Are you doing something that will move you forward? This is deeply personal and only you know if and when you are buffering.

I mastered the art of "strategic buffering" when I was younger. Instead of doing my homework, I'd practice my trumpet. When it was time to practice the trumpet, I would clean my room. I always looked like I was doing something productive, so my behavior never really went checked.

Every coin has two sides and doing "busy" work when you really should be doing "deep" work is an area that needs to be brought to light. Thankfully, I'm getting more honest with myself and am being intentional about changing some of my patterns.

What did you do the last time you found yourself buffering and what were you supposed to be doing instead?

I'll go first:

I spent time responding to e-mails when I should have been focused on writing a proposal. I must admit, I would have gone searching for a snack, but since my mouth is sore, snacking is out unless it's something very soft.

Cheering you on,


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