What’s Distracting You?

I’m distracted. Are you?

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?

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