I’m coming to the sad realization that I am the most distractible person on the planet. It’s an inflammation of my brain synapses, seems like, that causes them to throb and lead me down sometimes obsessive, sometimes neurotic, pathways. Time is precious, more precious the older I get, so I need a plan of action to combat this malady.
You don’t need to remind me about task lists. I do have task lists, especially right now with KILMOON coming out in two month (yikes!), so the problem isn’t that I’m floating around on the Internet without a plan. I know exactly what I need to be doing, yet … yet yet yet … In any given moment, if something surprising or annoying or whatever happens, I’m likely to whinge off into what I call LaLa Land — “L” and “A” being my initials.
LaLa Land is a strange place in which priorities don’t matter and self-indulgence, whimsy, and overreaction (whether positive or negative) rule my world. It’s like nothing else exists except the thought I’m obsessing about. Let’s take this week for example — a very distractible week:
1. On Monday I stumbled onto a Goodreads list, “Most Anticipated Mysteries of 2014” and there was KILMOON sitting at position #7, between two NYT bestselling authors AND the only debut in the top 10! Woohoo!
What a fun surprise! However, seems like the rest of the day I spent watching the rankings, communicating to everyone about the rankings (I could call this self-promotion — but of the most annoying sort), and asking friends to vote for me so I can remain in the top 10 for awhile.
I’m now well-acquainted with the Rankings Demon, who transforms you into a slavish follower of numbers.
And, since I’m talking about it — here’s the page. Click “vote for this book” next to KILMOON’s thumbnail cover picture? Hehehe. (Couldn’t resist.)
2. Yesterday a high school reunion organizer contacted me. She wants me to help out because I did a great job on behalf of our class for the last reunion. I was a people finder, and without people there would be no reunion, right? Right.
All well and good, but come to find out the reunion is the same weekend as a major mystery conference! Aww. Promote debut novel versus see old friends/visit homeland? I posed the question on Facebook. The high school organizer plied me with a great incentive (which won’t affect my decision) and we spoke on the phone. I went haywire trying to figure out which way my gut was leaning.
It’s amazing how much energy I expended on these two passing events. In five years, they won’t have mattered. Seriously.
So, my question to myself is: How do I snap myself out of LaLa Land? Here’s what comes to mind — a plan of action you might say:
1. Step away from the computer. Just. Step. Away.
2. Go outside and breath in nice, fresh air. Ten deep breaths.
3. Tell myself that if I must obsess — just a little — to give myself a time frame. Fifteen minutes. Thirty minutes. Set a danged timer.
4. Since my emotions are embroiled — if they weren’t I wouldn’t be in LaLa Land — call a rational friend or write down my thoughts in a journal. It’s called getting a grip on myself.
5. Open up my old-fashioned DayTimer — love that thing! — and read my task list. Remind myself what’s important. Tell myself I can return to obsessing after I knock one thing off the list or work for a solid hour.
6. If there’s a decision that needs to be made, remind myself that I often come to the answers after a good night’s rest.
Good plan. Think it will work the next time?
I know y’all have your own LaLa Land loops. Don’t deny it! So, what’s your own private LaLa Land like? What do you do to wrench yourself out of it?