They will tell you to try to focus.   Screen out all those distracting stimuli so that you can accomplish the task at hand.   Finish your homework!   Ace the SAT!   Make your point!   Maybe you’ve even tried the medications that pour all of your energy into this One Thing and you know what it feels like to Be Productive.  It’s awesome, right?  Nothing like the powerful feeling of accomplishment to make you feel really good about yourself.

There’s just one problem.  You lost the other 95% of your world.  

Some say that the essence of creativity is connection.  In relaxed unfocussed moments, associations reign.  Ungoverned by tasks and todos, the mind wanders into untrodden fields and forests, curious and open, gathering flowers and pebbles, and then, at just the right time, it springs forth.  Because seemingly unrelated stuff can open doors to fresh approaches, innovators often come from outside a narrow field of expertise.

But, I hear you saying, I’m not wandering in fields and forests, I’m glued to the internet, helplessly following links, becoming more and more confused…. Yes, I know, I’ve been there.  I know what it is to be seized by something shiny, something spectacular, only to find  its beauty faded, along with my memory of what I was supposed to be doing instead.   Notice, if you will, that our culture tells us to focus while it profits from grabbing your attention.   Of course the advertisement/tvshow/link/facebook post yanked you away from your task.  They study you.  They know exactly how to do it. 

But you don’t have to go along with their plan.  You can work with your beautiful mind, as it is, to create an environment that enables you to flow.   A client described it this way:  “The walls of my mind are thin.”  Work With It  is method for those of us who want our minds to remain permeable and yet accomplish many things, fun things, useful things.   

I begin here with a few essentials.  As I get feedback, try things out, learn from mistakes and successes, I will add more methods, details, and stories.   If you are especially interested in Work With It, you can use your RSS reader to subscribe to this page only.  




Overcome Overwhelm: Decide What to Do

Once I received an email headline that looked like this:

a year to live one bright pearl thanks vera that was beautiful a good credit score is 700 or above  

I feel a shot of panic even now as I attempt to comprehend All That, All At Once.   We can easily be felled by the cascade of stuff from out there interacting with all the stuff in our minds.  We have to decide what to attend to, and when, but this feels nearly impossible when we are in a panic.   What to do?  

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Work Flow

Sit down at 9am and glare at the computer and produce product without interruption til 5pm. 

It is astonishing to me how many people still actually believe that this is the workflow ideal.  No one does it.   It doesn’t work.  Trying to work that way produces exhaustion, irritation, and really bad products that people spend billions advertising, and buying, and using, and getting even more frustrated about the meaningless of this spinning wheel we are on.  

Work Flow should fit your natural rhythms and tendencies.  Not too tight and not too loose.  Most of us have times during the day when we are alert, focussed, and energetic.  Other times we feel sluggish.  Some times we’re too excited to sit still.  Occasionally (or more often), we just feel like chatting.  

 So, if your day is well-balanced, you will feel good and you’ll get a bunch of stuff done.  

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Focus.  It has been said that Happiness is Attention.  Just the act of focusing creates a sense of well-being and calm, and has the side effect of producing accomplishment, which in turn puts a little kick in your dopamine, creating more pleasure for you.

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Internettled? Work With It!

Photo Gryphon, Nettle Jellyfish, Creative Commons"Technology is Totally Screwing Up Our Minds," says my friend, Julie* via Facebook.  Really?  Are we frogs in lukewarm water unable to realize that we will soon boil to death?  Will our mind's ability to delve deeply atrophy in response to the many shallow jumps we make each day?  A link!  Did you click on it?  Are you back? 

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Internet "Holiday"

Updated on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 11:59AM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Is Anybody there?

After some Facebook braggadocio about my prowess negotiating the Internet with ADD, my friend Julie invited me to write about it.  Yah, ok.  I can do that.  I've given a lot of thought to what I call the Associative Mind and how I want to advocate for a little freedom to roam.  So why am I procrastinating?  I am NOT procrastinating.  I am allowing my mind to roam!  Jotting notes here and there.  Things knocking about in my mind, creating those collisions and connections that I value so much. Yet the sentences seem to be behind a dam somewhere, along with all the coherent advice I thought I had to offer.  Perhaps all those collisions are just a pile-up, and the idea is somewhere under the rubble.

I decided to do an Internet Fast  to clear my confusion. 

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