You are in a state of flow. The next action flows from the previous. You are in the moment. Then boom, in comes an email that sets off a chain reaction of anxiety and worry. At least that’s what just happened to me. Your creative surplus – time and attention – gets burned on managing your personal response to that email. You are back to zero. What do you do next?

Do whatever you need to in order to reset. Some people recommend writing down their worries to get them out of their heads. This works for me sometimes but others it can lead to an extensive essay that causes me to dwell on the issue more.

My preferred method comes from reading Daniel Goleman, of Emotional Intelligence fame, and change my physio-emotional state. Go for a walk. Today it was playing the piano, which I find meditative.

Fifteen minutes later I’ve dropped – the creative work can become the centre of my attention again.

Two things to learn here:

  1. What can you do stop interruptions from spending your creative surplus?
  2. What can you do to bring your attention back to the creative work?