The Toxic Productivity Trap

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In the midst of the current state of crisis and upheaval, we’re all mostly at home in self-isolation. Or, we should be. And I keep seeing all these ‘ways to stay active and productive’ videos and blog posts.

On the one hand, I do think finding a new routine is essential, particularly for those not used to working from home.

As someone who has worked from home for years, it’s important to keep yourself motivated. And it can be infinitely more difficult when you’re not in an office.

But.

But.

But, I think productivity at times like this can be a dangerous and unhealthy trap.

We put our health to one side. We base too much of our self-worth into what we accomplish. And then, we seem to fall into a cycle of work, work, work, and not much else.

In a global crisis, maybe the best thing we can do is take care of ourselves–and each other.

Maybe the most ‘productive’ thing I can do is read a good book or play one of my favourite video games.

There’s nothing wrong with accomplishing.

Crossing items of your to-do list can become a bit of an addiction. But we shouldn’t be beating ourselves up for relaxing either. Doing nothing can be the healthiest part of your routine.

So, maybe while we’re all busy being productive. We should pencil time into our do to do nothing at all. Relax. Read a book. Binge-watch a new TV show. Something fun.

 

 

A brief excerpt from After the Scrum

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~ A brief excerpt from After the Scrum ~

“No, Sherlock, stop it. You uncivilized mongrel!” Francis Keen, interior decorator extraordinaire, tripped over his own feet and his dog’s leash.  He landed in a heap on the walk outside his home. “Damnation, you obstinate creature, heel. Do you even know what the word means?”

“Having trouble, love?”

“No, Gran.” Francis straightened himself up, running his fingers through his now thoroughly mussed-up mass of light brown hair.  He ignored his beloved grandmother’s tittering giggles while attempting to glare balefully at his Shetland sheepdog, Sherlock, his beloved and the bane of his existence. “Have a good day, Gran.”

“Try to stay on your feet, love.” She waved at him with another laugh then headed up the walk to their shared home.

Oh, the humiliation.

He’d gotten a smaller dog to go with his own more slender frame.  He didn’t fancy being dragged off by a monster of a mutt.  Sherlock didn’t appear to understand his purpose in life.  Even for a smaller dog, he managed to yank his owner off his feet quite frequently.

The sheltie served other purposes, besides companion and best friend.  Francis simply didn’t advertise what Sherlock’s training actually entailed.  He didn’t want the sympathetic stares.

“One morning, Sherlock, just one would be nice.  I’d give you the largest beef bone in the world if you could allow me to preserve my dignity once.” Francis fumbled with the keys to his only prized possession—a turquoise Fiat 500 from the seventies that had been painstakingly and lovingly refurbished. He patted the dashboard reverently once he’d situated himself and his insane canine. “Well, Watson, time to take the world by storm.  Are you ready?”

 

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Book Review: After the Scrum

76062-after_scrum_frontcover “This is one of the books I keep coming back to. It’s an easy story with just enough tension to have a plot, humor and fun banter. After a hard day or sloughing through one of those emotional angsty reads, this is one of those books that sets my world to rights again.” 4 stars on Amazon

I love my publisher.

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I do.

Genuinely.

I’ve worked with Hot Tree Publishing (and now Tangled Tree Publishing) for several years. I adore them. They’ve taken good care of me.

And then some days, I want to drop kick them across the ocean.

Kidding, mostly.

We announced my upcoming release a week or so ago.  Primrose Poison. The first in a new cosy mystery series–The Motts Cold Case Mystery Series.

As we were discussing the ongoing series, we realized the first book stood out amongst the titles. While I haven’t written anything but the first, I know what the titles will be. And they were a bit jarring when you lined up the titles with cover ideas.

So we had two options, first, change all the other books.  That would seem to be the better option. Except it wasn’t.

The other option was to change Primrose Poison to Poisoned Primrose.

Have you ever debated something so much you completely lose interest in the subject?

That was me.

The good news is…I still love my publisher. I love the cover (I can’t wait for everyone to see it.) And the titles are all aesthetically pleasing when side by side.

Crisis averted.

(Love you, Becky.)

 

 

Book Excerpt: At War With A Broken Heart

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Excerpt

Would you stop ignoring me?”

“No.”

“Morrie.”

“How about you quit butchering my name? If you insist on using my first one that no one else uses, stop making me sound like a five-year-old schoolboy. It’s Morogh, though you know I prefer Fie.” Morogh Fie Russell scowled at the former love of his life over the top of his reading glasses. He hadn’t seen Edmund in close to eight years, not since Fie’s return from Afghanistan. War hadn’t been kind to him, leaving him a changed man in many ways. “I’ll ignore you if I want, as I didn’t invite you inside.”

“I refuse to call you by a name that sounds like it belongs in Jack and the Beanstalk. What were your parents thinking?” Edmund took a few steps towards Fie, grimacing when he stepped into a stray bit of wet clay. “I wanted to talk. How do you stand it out here in Bideford? I’m surprised you didn’t move back to your family’s farm in Scotland. Devon doesn’t seem your sort of place.”

“You refused to call me anything at all for years. And how is where I live any of your business?” Fie honestly didn’t want to revisit their failed relationship. “What’s changed? Did your latest fling kick you out?”

“I missed you. Us, even.” Edmund gestured towards Haggard, Fie’s blue merle border collie service dog, stretched out across a blanket in his corner of the pottery shed. “I can help. What can your old mutt do that I can’t?”

“Help? You broke me. You lost the right to put me back together.” Fie wiped absently at the sheen of sweat on his brow; he hadn’t even gotten close to his kiln yet. Why am I suddenly overheating? “Sod off with you back to your posh London penthouse.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Hell.” Fie dragged a hand roughly through his greying hair. His dark brown eyes examined Edmund and found him relatively unchanged. Still as selfish as ever. He’d missed seeing the fault in his ex-lover’s personality until far too late. “Well, I hope the apology made it all better for you. I still feel like shite.”


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