One Question

I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted. Maybe it’s my Piscean nature — symbolized by two fishes swimming in opposite directions — but staying focused and on track isn’t always easy for me, even when I have a goal. So I’ve started asking myself this one simple question throughout the day:

“Is what I’m doing now getting me closer to where I want to be tomorrow?”

Since I’ve started asking myself this, I’ve found it has five benefits:

It anchors me: This question appeals to me because it’s a simple touchstone I can return to again and again to be sure that I’m not losing sight of what I want to accomplish.  It anchors me so that my time and energy don’t drift away.

It calms me: Just keeping this question in mind is calming and centering. I feel better because I know that I have a simple tool at my command to help me get the most from my day. It’s an antidote to distraction.

It orients me: Asking this keeps me rooted in the present — it invites me to look at what I’m doing in the moment — right now — and see if it’s the most purposeful activity I can be engaged. It’s aimed at the future, but anchored in the present.

It focuses me: I’ve jotted this question down on a 3×5 colored index card and I keep it by my desk so I can see it easily. It’s a quick reminder to gather myself and concentrate on whatever task I’ve decided I need to being doing to move my YA novel forward.

It motivates me: If I do find myself off track for whatever reason, this question helps fire me up with renewed purpose. It announces to me that I have a job to do and my job is to do it. No dilly-dallying. No excuses. Just get going!

So often, we find ourselves sidetracked for an hour or two or a whole day. An errand takes longer than expected or a problem crops up. When this happens, it’s easy to feel that our rhythm’s been disrupted and our writing has suffered. But for most of us, I believe it’s the little distractions that nibble away at our writing time and make us feel unproductive. Asking yourself, “Is what I’m doing now getting me closer to where I want to be tomorrow?” can help you stay happily on track and fulfilled. Write on.

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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