Oops!  I Did It Again!

It was Sunday and I planned to get some business work done.

But, instead of working, I stayed in bed all morning reading long chat threads and emails on my phone, got up for lunch, and then proceeded to lie around the rest of the day playing Solitaire on my phone.

That night I was feeling very critical of myself for having frittered the day away.

Do you know that horrible feeling of wanting to get some work done, but for some reason you just keep doing nothing?

The next morning, Monday, I reached for my phone when I woke up (to turn off the alarm) and instead of doing my morning checklist I looked at chats and emails and then I opened up my solitaire app and . . .

Graphic of a woman with long black hair wearing a yellow shirt and green pants. She is sitting on the floor and doing a face palm because she is upset with herself
Unhappy woman (face palm)

 . . . the next time I looked at the clock, the day was over!

Now I had wasted two days!

While I had been hanging around playing my game I also:

Despite knowing lots of tips and tricks to avoid getting sucked into games, I was not using any of them.

That’s when I remembered that I had worked through the previous weekend and had so had not had a break in over two weeks.

Was there a relationship between my relatively sudden inability to just not start a game and the previous fourteen days straight of working?

Working through the weekend had not seemed to be a problem at the time. The work had felt easy and I had no problem concentrating.


In fact, I had been extraordinarily productive.

On Tuesday I decided to try an experiment.

I would give up trying to get any business work done and do "restorative" activities instead looking at my phone.

I went for a swim with my friends, danced around the house to great oldies music a few times, did a little crochet and took a couple of short walks with my husband.

Graphic of a woman in black shoes, pants and hat and green/yellow shirt free-dancing
Graphic: woman in black pants free-dancing
graphic of a ball of green yarn with a yellow crochet hook stuck through it
Graphic: ball of grreen yarn with yellow crochet hook
Graphic of a woman swimming in water with the yellow top of her swim suit visible
Graphic: woman  swimming in a yellow swimsuit

When I woke the next day, I easily started the day with my normal morning checklist.

I was back on track.

Restorative Rest Activities

Restorative rest is doing those activities that are fun or recharge your emotional energy and they are different for everyone.

For example, my restorative activities include:

Yellow/white crocheted octopus with black plastic eyes on green background
yellow/white crocheted octopus

What did I learn?

I learned that:

I also learned to ask myself the following questions:

Taking a problem  solving approach helps me to avoid the demoralizing trap of self-criticism.

In this case, I decided that I had not been allowing myself restorative rest.

It turns out that taking a break from work to intentionally perform a restorative activity, even if only for an hour or two, is a good way to get myself working again.

I also learned that playing solitaire on my phone is not a restorative activity for me. (If it were, I would have felt happier and more rested as I played).

For me, making room for restorative activities is not optional, but a necessary part of my schedule.

Self-coaching Questions

It happens to everyone

It's true that everyone has trouble now and then with getting their work done despite distractions and temptations.

It's also true that those of us with interest-based brains are particularly susceptible to them as well as sometimes working nonstop due to hyper-focusing.**

Including restorative activities in your day might help with both!🐙

Sources include:

*  "How To Keep House While Drowning"  by KC Davis

(Restorative rest is discussed in chapter 25)

"How To Keep House While Drowning, a gentle approach to cleaning and organizing"

Published April 26, 2022 by S&S/Simon Element

Hardcover, 160 pages

by KC Davis, Licensed Therapist

**  ‘Hyperfocus’ is a phenomenon that reflects one’s complete absorption in a task, to a point where a person appears to completely ignore or ‘tune out’ everything else.


Ashinoff, B. K., & Abu-Akel, A. (2021). Hyperfocus: the forgotten frontier of attention. Psychological research, 85(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-019-01245-8