I sit down to write and my mind says, “Squirrel!” I start developing a workshop and my mind says, “Shiny object over there!”
Normally, I sit down, work, and finish one thing. I then cross that thing off my todo list. Not this past week.
How about you?
I’ve tried these things:
- Work in short timeboxes. I normally choose 15 minutes.
- Focus on just one idea, never mind one todo.
- Take a short walk, to refresh my brain so I can refocus.
My normal methods aren’t working.
I’m anticipating the US election. I’m allowing all the discussion about the election to distract me. Those distractions mean I try to avoid the various social media sites. When I do check social media, I allow the conversations to suck me in.
Every time I check social media, I then check the polls and forecasts. (I know, don’t do that!) We know from experience that polls are not always accurate. And, we have a lot of uncertainty about who will get to vote and when.
I don’t have uncertainty. Massachusetts has well-defined and coherent vote-by-mail policies and procedures. Yes, I already voted. I checked on my ballot. It’s in the “Accepted, ready to be counted” column.
I did what I could. Why am I still distracted?
Because this election feels bigger than any other election I can remember. (It might be.)
While I have done all I can so far, my circles of control and influence feel very small—much smaller—than my circle of concern.
What can I do?
Ask you for help—specifically in the form of asking you to discuss the election.
Please Discuss Voting with Everyone You Know
I realize my readership is worldwide. I still ask that you discuss voting with everyone you know. Many of you non-US folks know people in the US. Please discuss voting with them.
If they have voted already, as I have, no worries.
Otherwise, please ask about their needs. Do they have a plan to vote, with regards to:
- The weather?
- If they encounter long lines at the polls?
- If they haven’t yet decided who to vote for?
We have a lot riding on this election. Here, in the US, we do not have a coherent strategy for managing the pandemic. We don’t yet have a strategy for addressing the issues of systemic racism and inequality in society.
Even as we have out-of-control wildfires in California and the West, we do not have a strategy for climate change. Not to mention the Gulf coast under ridiculous amounts of water due to the 5 hurricanes that made landfall this year, and the fact that NYC and Miami flood regularly in rain and storms.
I do not expect everyone to agree with my decisions. However, as a society, we must work together to adapt to our current realities. The best way to do that? Vote.
I might be able to manage my distractions, now that I got that off my chest. Thank you.
The question this week: What’s distracting you?
- How Can We Build Our Critical Thinking Skills?
- How Do We Unite for a Common Goal?