Focus, people, focus.

Remember to take time to enjoy the flowers.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. And while in my experience that seems to be true, it’s not always obvious that a behavior has moved over into the “insane” column.

ClockHere’s an example of what I mean. Between my family and my writing career, I manage several mailboxes (five to be exact, six if I count the day job). For the last four years, I’ve been deleting annoying and unwanted emails.

Every. Single. Day.

It had become such a habit that I didn’t realize I’d entered the insanity zone. I mean, did I think that by deleting them they would magically stop coming?

I dunno. Maybe.

Like everyone else in the universe, my time is limited and very valuable. So is yours. The world is filled with miniature, time sucking vampires like unwanted, unneeded, unread email.

Of course this got me thinking. What other subtle activities are robbing me of focus? And what can I do to get rid of them?

Do you have the same problem? I bet you do. Naturally, I have some tips:

1. De-clutter your inbox – i.e. stop receiving so many damn useless emails. Do you find yourself deleting the same kinds of emails over and over. Magazine subscriptions, sales at every store known to mankind: Macy’s, Land’s End, Kohl’s – you name it. Go to the bottom of the email and click unsubscribe then follow the directions. See? Easy Peasy.

One word of caution. Do not do this with spam. No, no, no. Actual spam (if it’s coming into your inbox) should be ruthlessly marked a such and sent to the spam oubliette where it deserves to rot.

2. Go to your social media sites and check your settings and eliminate all the needless notifications. Many social media sites send these because you fail to notice all those little check boxes when you first sign up. Or they change policy (looking at you, Facebook) and decide you need to know all kinds of useless stuff. Unless of course you like to know that your brother’s wife’s sister’s cousin has a strange alligator rash on her skin. Ewww.

3. Be in the moment. What does that mean, Master Yoda? It means don’t multitask. GASP. I know. Crazy, right? Believe it or not, it’s not really possible to write a book, talk on the phone, and make dinner all at the same time. Multitasking is a myth people! Focus on the task at hand. The end result will be better.

4. Disconnect. Yup. You heard me. If you want to get in your word count and you can’t stop visiting the world wide web – then turn off the wi-fi. Duh. Don’t worry. Your brother’s wife’s sister’s cousin’s strange rash will still be waiting for  you.

5. Unleash the hounds, Smithers! If your significant other or family can’t leave you alone when you need to work, then sorry, you have to let them know to please leave you alone. If escaping your house isn’t an option, might I suggest a pair of earplugs? They got me through years of younger son’s Call of Duty shouting matches with his friends.

That’s all I’ve got for today. If you have other tips, please share.

Remember to take time to enjoy the flowers.
Remember to take the time to enjoy the flowers.

 

Stop Thief!! Beating the Time Bandits

Hi everyone,

While I work my fingers off to finish the first draft of Mystic Storm, you can find me over at the Seven Scribes where I’m sharing tips for beating the Time Bandits –

Stop Thief!! Beating the Time Bandits.

American Restoration, Pawn Stars and a Web Hunt!

Happy Friday everyone! Be sure to visit me over at the Scribes – My Fortress of Solitude.

I don’t normally watch a ton of television when I’m actively writing. And here’s why, over Memorial Day weekend, I made the mistake of checking out one of my favorite channels – History. I stumbled across the show American Restoration. After about five minutes, I was completely hooked. The show is about Rick Dale and his business – Rick’s Restoration in Las Vegas. I fell in love with the mix of history, nostalgia and the quirky cast of employees.

It didn’t take long for youngest son to be sucked in as well. Before we knew it, we were entrenched in an American Restoration marathon. For hours. When it was over, we were a bit bereft and bummed to have to wait until the following weekend to watch more.

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Right after the American Restoration marathon ended, Pawn Stars began. Now, I know this show has been on for a few years, but I had ignored it. It wasn’t a “history” program, per se, so I lumped it in with the likes of Ancient Aliens, Ice Road Truckers, and Swamp People  – not for me.

Wrong. I couldn’t resist the old school toys, antique weapons, the haggling (which I’m terrible at), Americana, and the deluded people. Soon, I was talking to the screen  – “You want how much? Why are you even going to a pawn shop if you think it’s worth so much – try e-bay!”

 

And the History Channel was kind enough to run a marathon for two days! Like a black hole, the show latched on, not only to me, but my hubby and younger son. The only one able to resist – Older Son – his dislike of history battled Pawn Star’s gravitational pull.

At one point, I even told hubby – “The show is research. See, Devlin Ward, my satyr in Mystic Ink, he owns a pawn shop. And all this knowledge will come in handy when I write his book.”

I know. I know. I should hang my head in shame. Pathetic excuse.

Needless to say, I didn’t write very much.

I had resolved to mend my ways. Until younger son informed me – “Hey Mom! Did you see the commercial? Cajun Pawn Stars!”

NOOOOOOO! Curse you History Channel!

So in the spirit of Pawn Stars and American Restoration, consider a hunt of your own.

Today is the start of the Night Owl’s Summer Fun Web Hunt! So what’s a web hunt? Participating authors (like yours truly) have a clue hidden within the pages of their blog. The web hunt runs from June 1 – July 15th.

I’m giving away a $15 Amazon gift card! If you’d like to join the hunt, click on the picture below and follow the rules. Good hunting!

So, what television shows tickle your fancy? And if not television, what are your favorite distractions?