My husband, Kurt was thirty minutes into a three-hour bike ride when he had a stroke. And crashed. He woke up surrounded by biking friends and EMTs. The trip to the ER revealed that both his hip and clavicle were fractured, and he couldn’t move his left leg.
I was amazed as I watched the ER staff. I saw no hustle. No obvious sense of urgency. The same was true when he was moved to the ICU. Again, there was no alarm, no hustle. Not one person yelled, “STAT!” but the amount of work they accomplished was amazing.
As I watched these professionals, it occurred to me that I should try this methodical, efficient, stress-free movement from task to task to increase productivity in my writing life.
When a patient arrives in the ER, the doctors have a protocol they follow. Kurt’s fractures had been identified, but they weren’t addressed until the brain bleed was under control. The other items aren’t being ignored or forgotten, but there is no use fixing a broken hip if bleeding in the brain can’t be stopped.
The hospital staff begins each day with an assessment of the patient’s condition – something we can easily do with our writing. They then form a plan and check off each item as it is accomplished. Their mantra is to stay focused, stay calm, and reach out for help if they’re overwhelmed, all excellent writing advice.
Writers may have one, two, or even seven irons in the fire, but to move forward productively, we also need a protocol:
Ready to give it a try? Set up your own productivity protocol (STAT!) and find yourself moving methodically and efficiently through your writing tasks.
3/7/2019 10:20:25 am
I have so many projects partially completed right now, I really needed this today. Thank you!
3/9/2019 07:59:09 pm
Thanks, Jilanne. Just keep telling yourself, like The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, "I think I can. I think I can!"
Carmela McCain Simmons
3/7/2019 02:32:12 pm
Praying that your husband continues to recover fully. Thank you for sharing this personal insight. My new mantra will be "ER... Zen."
3/9/2019 08:00:35 pm
Thanks, Carmela. Yes, "ER...Zen" is the perfect phrase.
3/7/2019 02:58:15 pm
3/9/2019 08:01:53 pm
3/7/2019 03:44:30 pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Both! Caregiving can be just as hard on you as Rehab is on Kurt!
3/9/2019 08:03:30 pm
Thanks, Paulette! Yes, I'm the one mostly sitting, and I go home each day exhausted! But, he's getting better everyday.
3/7/2019 04:58:20 pm
Susie! I am in awe of your observational skills even in such a stressful time. This is an amazing and helpful process that we can all apply.
3/9/2019 08:04:50 pm
3/8/2019 06:56:23 am
I'm thinking of you both as your husband continues his recovery. Thank you for sharing this moment of mindfulness during a difficult time.
3/9/2019 08:05:47 pm
Thanks, Lindsay! So sorry I missed the big celebration!
3/8/2019 08:21:56 pm
Prayers! I never new.
3/9/2019 08:07:37 pm
Thanks, Art. The picture Lisa posted was just what I needed on an especially tough day.
3/9/2019 05:58:33 am
Susie, I am grateful for the clear-minded caregivers who helped your husband, and for this inspiration you had in the midst of worry and fear. To keep calm, pay attention to what matters most, and look at the situation objectively are all skills I can use in my writing life. Praying your husband recovers fully!
3/9/2019 08:08:21 pm
Thanks, Meredith. You are so kind.
3/9/2019 12:25:29 pm
Oh, Susie, I'm so glad Kurt is safe, and that you're able to turn the scare event into a productive lesson for the rest of us.
3/9/2019 08:13:10 pm
Thanks, Donna. I'm so lucky to have such a supportive writing community.
3/11/2019 09:45:31 am
I'm sorry to hear about Kurt's stroke, but glad to hear about the care he has been receiving. Thinking of you and your family.
Leave a Reply.
We are nonfiction authors who support readers and writers through our writing, author visits, and workshops.
Disclaimer: The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas . The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.