Breaking Even

be-back-soon

Have you ever had one of those days when you know you’re supposed to be doing something important, but you just can’t get yourself started? There are so many things these days to keep our interest, from our phones, to the perennial TV, to tablets, to… I realize I’ve just listed several screens. That’s it, really. There are so many screens that have so many shows, and apps, and games, and everything else on them constantly that there isn’t even the time anymore for good old-fashioned outdoor, treehouse fun. Yeah, because I’ve ever been in a treehouse.

Anyway, like anyone else, I have to take breaks when I’m in the middle of something huge. When I’m writing a novel, or grading essays, or even doing housework for any real length of time I need breaks, but it’s what I choose to do during those breaks that’s important. If I choose something that in and of itself takes a lot of time I won’t be able to get back to whatever I have to do in a timely fashion, but if it’s too short of a break I won’t get the benefit of the break. Here’s what I generally choose for breaks:

  • Sitcom episode
  • Chapter of a good book
  • Music & dance interlude
  • Blog entry
  • Facebook scrolling

And I usually do them in that order, as well. I generally choose a sitcom episode first (most often Friends, or How I Met Your Mother, or The Big Bang Theory. Then, if I’m in the middle of a novel from one of my favorite authors I’ll go with a chapter (if they’re short enough). If I’m not reading a good book at the time I’ll do any combination of the other three, usually dancing by myself, then Facebook scrolling or blogging in order to catch my breath after my mad crazy dance moves.

The trick is not to get caught up with whatever I’ve chosen as my break option, because it can easily stretch to cover more time and then I’m scrambling after the fact to complete whatever it was I was taking a break from in the first place. That’s happened before with a show I get caught up in so I watch “just one more episode.” It’s why I usually choose episodes from shows I’ve seen before, so I don’t get too tempted to see what’s next. More so lately, though, I’ve taken to blogging first, so maybe there’s a shift occurring in my break patterns.

Now I think my break is over, and I’m back to my latest novel. Thanks for assisting in my latency.

Sam

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