Tips for a Distracting Time

It’s been a crazy and, in many ways, difficult week here in the U.S. If you’re having trouble working (as I am and I know many others are), grab your timer and do short intervals. (Even a minute or two!) You will make progress and, perhaps even more importantly, keep the material fresh in your head so that you can re-enter it more easily when you have more focus.

And who knows? Maybe a couple of minutes will lead to a couple more, then a couple more, etc.

Did I tell you I sometimes use dice? I have a great purple set from Chessex (gamers’ choice; a cheap indulgence). Sometimes I roll a die to decide which part of my manuscript to work on. (Which chapter or section; they’re all numbered.) It adds a bit of color and fun to the process, and randomness is a great tool against perfectionism because you can’t really take a piece of writing that seriously when you’re only working on it because you rolled it.

For those (understandably) upset about the U.S. election, a few tips:

  1. Don’t perfectionistically judge your reactions! As a society, and individuals, we’ve all had a shock.
  2. Don’t perfectionistically push yourself to quickly “return to normal.” (Whatever that is!)
  3. Do a bit of work, a lot of self-care, and whatever other productive activities you can. Empowerment is a process, and builds on itself. Small actions are the foundation.
  4. Find someone to really talk it out with.
  5. Take action in support of your values. If you’re worried about the world becoming less kind and empathetic, focus on being kinder and more empathetic yourself moving forward.
  6. Moderate your language so as to help yourself and others remain calm. Yes, we’re in a debacle, but talking about “the end of the world” is hyperbolic and unhelpful.

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