Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Handful of Kitty Toys

Once, when Kira Cat was small, I took a handful of her toys (soft ones) and threw them up in the air, figuring it would be fun to see her try to go after them all when they landed.  Her poor little head tried to follow every single one, but she didn't move an inch.  She just sat there, confused and bewildered.  So many choices, so many things to follow, and only one her.  The number of options had her stalled.

I've never done that to her again.  It just felt cruel.  Now I know better than to present her with more than one or two toys at a time.  She can't handle more than that.  Give her one and she'll play.  Give her a myriad of options and she stalls.

I get it.  I'm the same way.  Take housecleaning, for instance.  If I think about the huge list of things I have to do, I stall and don't do any of them.  I'm much better if I take each chore as a single job and work from there.  I don't have a whole house to clean.  I have one bedroom, and then another, and then a bathroom, or the kitchen.

Unfortunately, this also carries into my work life.  If I think about all the things I have to accomplish, I stall.  Right now, I have a book to finish, a book to query (which includes updating a database, following up on requested material, doing research, etc.), and an ePub to find for yet another book. 


So, I picked one thing to work on.  Right now, that one thing is finishing UEQ.  But I can't stop thinking about the other tasks I have to accomplish.  I'm like poor baby Kira, sitting in the middle of the floor with toys falling all around me like psychedelic hailstones. 

I just need to focus on the one thing.  Finish playing with the toy in front of me and move onto the next shiny important toy I need to play with.  Worry about finishing UEQ now and then figure out how I'm going to deal with the others. 

Because until I can get my focus on just one thing, I'm going to be stuck in the middle of a handful of kitty toys.


  1. I'm the same way. I need to focus on one task at a time, otherwise nothing gets done.

    This follows through on my writing as well. I find that if I think of the book as a unit- the whole thing: the plot arc and character arcs, then I freeze.

    If I concentrate on just getting one scene right? Then I can produce. But thinking of the entire project- it just feels overwhelming.

  2. I try to focus on one thing, but it never works out! Right now I should be writing. Instead I am writing a comment on your blog. :P

  3. Yes, exactly. I stall out when I finish a big project and I'm presented with all the stuff I've been shoving into the background. Those are the most pointless stalls in my mind because I have things to do, but they've all settled into a "less important" category and put on hold. Sometimes I wish someone would put a toy in my hand and say "here... that.. there you go."

  4. I have the same issue - seems to be a popular one ;) Only I call it "Squirrel" - remember the movie Up? The dog who gets sidetracked by..."Squirrel"? I often say that to myself when I feel the pull of the new shiny versus the 'must get this done'.

    Let us know how you do - if you find any tricks that help you focus. And good luck, B.E. :)


  5. I totally know that feeling! You just have to fixate on one toy at a time!

  6. lol yeah, hard to focus when all those kitty toys are flying around :D And thanks for buying my book, I hope it's a huge help :D

  7. Good luck! I get like that, too. I have to make a list and pick something and finish it.