Stop the Squirrel

Charlene Norman
3 min readOct 23, 2023

One night this week, hubby and I dined by flashlight. A squirrel got a little too intimate with the transformer at the end of our driveway. BOTH were proclaimed dead in a flash.

Do YOU play squirrel and suffer from squirrelling? I have several friends who regularly admit they do; I certainly do and venture to proclaim it has become a sad reality of our technology-driven life. The upside of playing squirrel is that it feeds our desire to stay current and on top of the latest ‘thing.’ The downside is that it stops us from staying focused and actually accomplishing much.

I stumbled across this list and want to share it. We all need reminders, and I promise you, it works.

1. Know the difference between being overloaded and overwhelmed.

When we’re overloaded, we need to do less. When we’re overwhelmed, we need to think less and do more.

2. Continually ask: ‘How can I do more with less?’

Then, apply your answers to your life.

3. Be ruthlessly intolerant to multitasking.

Trying to do more than one thing at a time massively decreases your effectiveness at any one thing. Do one thing at a time.

4. Write your goals down every day.

The act of physically writing them, whether short-term ‘process’ goals like writing daily or longer-term goals, cements them in your awareness.

5. Rely less on stimulants for focus and more on your default natural focus.

Most of us are so jacked up on sugar, carbs and coffee that we forget what effortless focus is.

6. Prioritise enjoyment.

You can’t outwork someone who is enjoying themselves. The most in-flow productive people find a way to enjoy what they’re doing, no matter what.

7. Understand the glycemic index (GI).

High-GI foods like bread, white rice and crackers will spike insulin, leading to a crash that lowers your mood. Low-GI foods (like fruits, green vegetables and beans) allow you to maintain a stable mood and 10x your focus throughout the day.

8. Avoid cheap dopamine.

Stimulants (think video games, favourite video shows and even sports or porn) fry your dopamine receptors. This means your motivation for ‘everyday’ things like writing becomes difficult.

9. Stop making everything personal.

You don’t need ‘self-belief,’ self-actualization, or even knowing that big dream. Put your attention on the next small step. That is the focus. It’s never about you.

10. Identify a purpose.

Your Purpose is something you create. It’s NOT about what you are doing or who you are becoming. Nor is it about how you do what you do. It’s all about the fundamental WHY you do what you’re doing. For example, saving the (fill in the blank), inspiring better (fill in the blank), emboldening the (fill in the blank). We are far less likely to find excuses with a strong, written-down reason plastered before us.

11. Use accountability.

Find a partner or coach to whom you report on work done or habits maintained.

The fear of letting others down will motivate you to maintain strong discipline.

12. Love boredom.

Most of us have little focus because we hate feeling bored. If you can experience boredom and stay with it until creative insight follows, you’re ahead of the game.

13. Have a routine.

Like with purpose, you design your ideal routine based on what works for you. NOT what others say works the best. What will you do most days, at specific times, without distraction, that ensures you’re focused?

14. Track your key metrics.

What 3–4 key results show you’re moving towards your objectives? Maybe it’s newsletter sign-ups, for example. Track them. This will motivate you and keep you moving in the right direction.

And if you forget all of this, do this:

One thing at a time with enjoyment.

May some part of this list help you ultimately proclaim your squirrel habit under control or deceased.

--

--

Charlene Norman

Inspiring good humans to make a difference for all on Planet Earth. Podcast host, author, and community leader. Fanatical about change for the highest good.