As defined, distraction is

  1. something that makes it hard to pay attention
  2. the act of having thoughts or attention drawn away
  3. confusion of thoughts or feelings

It’s been just 12 days into the Trump administration, and we already feel the outrage fatigue creeping up on us. It’s hard to believe the areas of civil liberties of American life that are being torn down as we’re getting dragged closer to fascism and authoritarianism.

Of course, our outrage is not for nothin’.  The parts of the country that voted for Trump see nothing wrong with the current state of affairs, according to the recently released Edelman Trust Barometer.

It’s a given that we have to continue to resist. It’s going to be a long four years, so we have to be prepared to go the distance.  At the same time, we have to keep an eye on the things that need protecting beyond the Constitution, rule of law, etc. And by this, I mean the things we’re here to do.

Maintaining your perspective is critical.  Despite feeling like we need to drop everything and rush to the front lines, there are still companies to be built, art to make, communities to grow, and lives lived to matter. That valuable work still has to get done. So, here are a few things we should all keep in mind:

Decide how much time and energy you’re going to pay to this craziness. Seriously. Social media is a great thing when used properly, but it’s clear that too much of it can make you depressed (among other things).

Remember your work. What was that thing you were put here to do? Are you doing it? If the answer is no, and you’re spending a lot of time sharing and retweeting the latest administration outrage, ruthlessly refocusing on your work is a great way to get back on track. Cal Newport’s Deep Work offers a hardcore approach, but some of you may need just that. It’s important that I say this: If your main job isn’t activism, policy or journalism, there’s no reason to be engaged on a minute-by-minute basis with every little thing that comes out of this administration. There are people doing that, analyzing it, and providing directions for collective next actions. Trust me, there will be plenty of people who will still be there signal-boosting.

There are all kinds of ways to resist. Some of the ways will involve marching, protesting and showing strength in numbers. Others will involve calling elected officials and letting them know how they should be representing you. But continuing with your work is also an act of resistance. Joy is an act of resistance, too.  Giving up on the things you care about the most is letting the bastards win. Don’t do it.  That said, remember that there are still plenty good and wonderful things happening in and around your life. Maybe take a minute and list all the things you’re grateful for personally and for your family and friends.

In response to this Twitter thread of mine:

 


Ali, who’s building his own content platform called Thoro TV, added this:

Stay inspired by, connected with, and accountable to the community that nourishes and sustains you.

Perspective is important. As is language. Don’t show up to fight “against” things. That’s negative. Better, and more healthy for this long haul, is to focus on the things you want be “for”. So we’re not fighting against authoritarianism. Rather, we’re fighting for democracy, fairness, justice, tolerance. Fight for what you want to see grow and multiply.

Making time and space for the work you were meant to do is, in fact, both a form of resistance and self-care.  You determine when and where you focus, not them.

Don’t get distracted. And do not let these bastards win.

Posted by Rob Fields

Observer. Curator. Marketer. Dot connector.