JPS mode

Just Pick Something.

This is an acronym I made up for times when I feel overwhelmed and/or scattered, and can’t seem to decide what I should best be putting my attention on or my efforts toward.

At such times I just pick something. This morning it was moving a stack of bamboo poles in order to tidy up the part of my yard that can be seen from the sidewalk.

And then decluttering my large box of thread and other sewing supplies.

<Note to self — stop composing voice-to-text posts in WordPress. I just lost an entire paragraph. I already know this from the other day when I lost a paragraph three times. I will compose off-line and be back to copy-paste.>

JPS: Tasks that need to get done, and that move me forward, yet are not demanding. Don’t require much thought if any. They can actually be quite restful in this regard. Sort of like a resting stroke while swimming.

From that space, after JPSing a few things, I often find that I’m able to move on to a task that requires more of my creative bandwidth and active energy.

This morning, in the weekly Zoom call with our permie authors’ cooperative, one member raised the question: What do you guys do when you have a short block of time, like 15 or 20 minutes?

As in, a lot of tasks seem to require long blocks of time, so it can be hard to figure out what to do if you only have 15 or 20 minutes.

I offered a few suggestions: pick one room to sweep and mop; sweep the entire house; Declutter one small drawer.

Someone else pointed out that that’s a great amount of time to do a mindfulness practice. Taking breaths, noticing one’s surroundings, and so on.

Garden tasks can be good for fitting into a short block of time too. Chop-and-drop one plant or one area of the yard, etc.

And also, here’s something I noticed when I was writing my book.

I noticed that I was avoiding writing unless I had some long block of time. And mysteriously (haha), long blocks of time would just never happen.

So, I started something that I came to call “grabbing the bull by the horns.” Basically if I even had five minutes of time, or even 30 seconds, I would tell myself, “Hey! you can write something.”

That actually worked well, and I got more into the flow of writing my book. I started doing this with my fiction book-in-progress a while back too, but I kind of fell off the wagon. Time to get back on again.

Along the same lines as JPS, another acronym I use is POFIFOTO. Put One Foot In Front Of The Other. I seem to recall that I have dedicated at least one blog post to this acronym. Maybe more than one post.

When in danger, when in doubt, DON’T “run in circles, scream & shout” — Just POFIFOTO!