What distractions do you use to clear your head?

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Whether I’m writing or working on other things, sometimes taking a quick break to go off and do… something… can be a great way to clear your head of whatever details you’re currently tackling. It allows you to take a step back and approach the same task with a fresh mind. Obviously this isn’t something you want to do while you’re “in the zone”, but rather when you feel your “mental stamina”, if you will, becoming a little depleted.

Here are some of the things I tend to do:

  • Play a quick game of free cell
  • Go outside to play with the dogs
  • Do a bit of stretching (I should do that one more, methinks)
  • Scramble and solve my Rubik’s cube
  • Check the TV schedule and program my recorder if I want to catch something specific
  • Take a look through the online news
  • Go get a drink of water

On the other hand, these are the things I try to avoid when I want to make progress (because they could lead to spending a whole lot more time on stuff I shouldn’t be doing right then):

  • Turn on the TV “just to see what’s on”
  • Log in to my favourite game (Guild Wars 2) to see if any guildmates are on
  • Pick up a book (that one’s really hard to resist)
  • Watch stuff on youtube (it’s never “just one”!)
  • Sit anywhere where the cats like to claim your lap

How about you, fellow writers (or other creative types)? What works well for you, what do you try to avoid? Please let me know in the comments!

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