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Ever have one of those days where all you want to do is work on “that thing” but life has other plans?

Yes, we all have. How do you deal with them? Do you let them get under your skin or do you go with the flow?

We’re having work done at home and I’ve chosen to stay here to answer questions as they come up. I also don’t trust our dog Kaida enough to provide her the opportunity for adventure through an open door or gate.

The work is something we’ve wanted to do for a while – so it’s a great thing.

Me trying to concentrate and write with pounding and clanging on the other side of the wall – not so much.

When I found myself irritable and deleting more words than I was adding, I took a break and went for a round of fetch with Kaida. She had no interest. She was too distracted and busy guarding the house from “intruders”.

Kaida’s Bunker

My next go to is a speed bag. The hand-eye coordination required to hit the bag repeatedly is a great way to reset my brain and get it back into focus mode. As a bonus, it’s a great workout. I went to the garage ready for battle. Rather than cry, I laughed when I saw the path to the speed bag blocked by tools and materials.

That made me stop and assess. Would the world stop spinning on its axis if I didn’t work on my writing during that specific time? Nope. Was there anything preventing me from writing in the evening? Nada.

Time for a mindset adjustment – what COULD I do that didn’t require as much concentration?

There were several things on my to-do list that were no-brainers. I renewed and re-evaluated services I was using. I made changes for the better, including one that led to a great connection for a project I’m working on. None of that would have happened if I hadn’t caught myself and changed direction.

That said, this wasn’t a case of walking away from a critical deadline, or not writing because the “inspiration” wasn’t there. Most times, inspiration isn’t there – you sit down and write, anyway.

This was the awareness to let go of the normal routine to stay in the right mindset to be productive.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu

We live in a time where it’s easy to keep our life under control. Apps remind us of appointments, tell us when to be there and the best way to get there on time.

The tough part is when things don’t go according to plan.

That’s where it’s critical to know yourself. What are your triggers? How do you catch yourself before you go completely off the rails?

Everyone is different, especially when it comes to coping skills.

That’s something only you can answer. It comes from observing the way you feel and react to whatever is causing you to feel anxious or irritated – anything that’s not your happy place. Different things work for different situations.

These are the things people most often tell me have helped them:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation/yoga/Tai Chi
  • Music that makes you feel happy
  • A safe place that allows you to relax
  • A trusted friend/coach or advisor

The better you know yourself, the easier it will be to keep yourself from getting too stressed.

It may take some time to get good at catching the subtle changes in your mood before they get out of hand. On a good day, how do you feel? Whats the first thing you norice when that changes?  Is there something you can do right away to stop it, or get it under control? Is there something on the list above that you haven’t tried?

Let me know what works for you – or what your triggers are, I’d love to help.