It’s hard to focus and act as though everything is just business and life as usual right now.
If you’re preoccupied, worried and trying to stay focused when the world feels like it’s on fire and your very humanity is somehow up for grabs…it’s not just you.
I don’t have any great solutions, but I’m here with you in all the emotions that come with what has become reality, and I hope you’re taking care of yourself and each other.
For starters, it’s helpful to notice and name what you are feeling. Sad, uncertain, bored, frightened, lonely, exhausted.
According to Nir Ayal, author of Indistractable, 90% of the time when we get distracted, it’s the result of internal triggers such as boredom, loneliness, uncertainty, and fatigue. In Nir’s words, “The reason we get distracted is that we are looking to escape an uncomfortable emotional sensation. You could have an iPhone on your desk or a rock—either way, if you’re dreading the task ahead, you’ll probably start fiddling with it.”
When we put trust in our ability to be with inevitable discomfort, we are in a better position to tame the discomfort and take meaningful action from an empowered place.
We are thinking all the time. And by thinking, who among us hasn’t gotten in our way by overthinking?
But how often are we Rethinking?
Imagine how rethinking–an assumption, a habit, a routine way of doing–could show us something we didn’t know, stretch possibility, and yield a fresh result.
Author Dan Pink has a lot to say in this area. He even wrote a book called Think Again.
Two power tips I’d like to share.
1. Start using a DONE list to replace the To-Do List. I started doing this when I was writing my book day after day. By focusing on completing the result I wanted each day, I pulled myself toward that. It felt better than beating myself up for falling short on a list of to-do items. And I love the physicality of placing a checkmark next to what’s done, instead of regretting what’s not.
2. Put aside 5-10 rethinking minutes to focus on one thing. Focused reflection leads to clarity and creative solutions.
I’m curious. Let me know if you try either of these tips and how they shifted things for you.
GG’s May Favorites
What I’m watching: Winning Time on HBO Max. You don’t have to be a basketball fan or even a sports fan to enjoy this fast-paced, well-documented dramatization of The LA Lakers team under an outlier owner and innovative coaches.
What I’m reading: Matrix by Lauren Goff. A historical fiction about a self-sufficient abbey of 12th-century nuns is as heartbreaking as it is miraculous. Against all odds, a cast-off young girl becomes a leader in her time.
What I’m listening to: Tim Ferris Podcast with Susan Cain, author of the best-selling book, Quiet and recently, of Bittersweet. Honestly, I got so much out of listening, I’ve saved it to listen again.
What I’m Rethinking: Golf. My husband gifted me my very own first set of clubs. I had a few swings that made me swoon and it’s become enough to get me again. I’m amazed at how much I don’t know about the game.
What’s Cool (and not a moment too soon, for I am a Wordle nerdle): Word puzzles hit the big leagues. The NYT said that Wordle, which it bought for an amount in the low seven figures in January, brought in “tens of millions of new users” to the Times and contributed to the best quarter for net new subscriptions for the Games unit, ever. Are you a Wordle nerdle?
What’s Possible: How to Make Self-Doubt Work for You. Award-winning journalist Liz Plank almost derailed her career and didn’t publish a best-selling book because of her inner critic. Listen to how she went from hating her inner voice to embracing it.
Quote I’m Pondering:
“The gift of a beginner is fresh eyes.
The longer you’re in a field, the harder it is to perceive new truths. Your mind is biased toward refining what you’re already doing instead of exploring fresh terrain.
Take your expertise and apply it to something new.” –James Clear