Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Creativity Tips: The Cure to Distracted Living

Call it distracted living. Call it squirrel syndrome. Call it monkey brain, scatterbrain or simply multi-tasking. Whatever you call it, I've got it. So, after Monday's post, several of my friends chimed in with good advice: Slow down. Set an alarm and get away from the computer once an hour. Breathe. Say no.

One friend sent a link to this fabulous post. It's about 100-day challenges and animation, not distracted living, but it included this perfect comment:

"You should be a person that cannot stand to let yourself down. Be your own boss. But always know: you can't fire yourself. So don't burn yourself out."

I have part of it covered: I am, literally, my own boss. What I need to get better at is saying NO to some of the demands of life -- hell, forget demands. I need to say NO to some of the ridiculous, self-imposed interruptions. So I don't burn myself out. So I don't let myself down.

And that brings us to the cure. You remember the stop sign approach? I use it to stop negative self-talk -- especially the kind of negative self-talk that endangers creativity. Now, I'm going to expand the concept.

The cure for distracted living is to STOP. 

Before I get in the car and drive, I'm going to STOP and see if I have my purse and my driver's license. (Yeah. I drove off without it last night.) Before I clean the stove top, I'm going to STOP and think about the burners. (Yep. Brushed those crumbs right over the hot burner. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.) Before I put my iPhone in the car's cupholder, I'm going to STOP and see if there's an open cup of water already there. (Don't ask.)

I'm going to picture that big old glorious stop sign in my head, and force myself to halt.

And, if that doesn't work, I'll picture a sign with a squirrel in a circle, and a line through it.

I'll keep you posted on progress. Meanwhile, if you have any other cures, bring 'em on! I'll be glad to consider them. Slowly. One at a time.

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