Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm still trying to be conscious of being in the moment—and, hilariously, one of the main impediments is being able to instantly connect. What's up with everyone else? Huh? Who's posting on Facebook? What are my friends doing? What are my old college pals up to? Are the writers goofing off on Twitter? Huh? What? I DON'T WANT TO MISS ANYTHING!!!1!

I'm working on clearing out distractions when I'm with someone. Doing stuff like cleaning off my desk and checking through notes from previous meetings when I sit down with staff members. Following the conversation wherever it leads instead of trying to drive it. Returning calls right away instead of avoiding the phone like I usually do. Not worrying about whether I'm being boring or stupid. Just not overthinking things.

And I'm not allowed to take my Blackberry to meetings anymore. Or if I have to take it, I'm not allowed to do anything but see if I've gotten an urgent email from someone on my staff (no answering emails) or check my calendar for schedule conflicts.

It's stuff I learned in Second City boot camp from Michael Gellman—focus out instead of in. Basic stuff, like listen instead of planning, focus on your partner. It seems like this should be simple, but I'm working against lazy habits and freaky little insecurities. Half of it is just reminding myself to do it...and really, it's not that hard.

Speaking of letting go...I have never been more done with talking about something than I am with the discussion about unsolicited feedback. OK, possibly an argument with my friend Brad in 6th grade about who was more powerful, Wonder Woman (his vote) or Chewbacca (mine). But nothing since.  


  1. I'm totally with you on this one. I struggle. Especially with so much technology at our fingertips it's way too easy to multi-task instead of focusing on the here and now.

    I'm working, too, at focusing on what is going on at any exact moment. It's hard not to shuffle papers, and check email, and look at my calendar and fill my coffee cup get the point...while someone is actually in my office, sitting in a chair, talking to me.

    On a more basic level I'm trying to apply this to my own personal time, too. For instance, last night I decided to not take any work home with me (including my calendar). Why? Because Lost was on (YAY!). I knew if I took stuff home I'd be trying to work on it while watching Lost. Lost needed my full attention and because I refused to even bring my laptop into the TV room it got it. And, it made for a much more satisfying evening of watching the most awesome show on television.

  2. P.S. I just finished Truth in Improv, and I was wondering if you could recommend the improv books that you've been most affected by / would be good for any serious improvisers to read.

  3. Patrick: See next post!

    Tracy: I had to rewatch 24 like 9 times because I can't seem to function without my laptop open. Tonight, I ate dinner (fabulous sushi) without the computer on. Baby steps, man.


New rule: I'm not approving anonymous comments. If you want to sit at the grownup table, you have to sign your name.

Now c'mon. Pick a fight.