When I was in third grade a Yo-Yo master (I assume that was his title, if not it should have been) came to our school. I don’t know why, other than maybe to sell Yo-yo’s. He was amazing. Imagine the most amazing exhibit of skill with a tool like a sword or baton, now replace the tool with a yo-yo. It was something like that.

So we had this assembly, all of us were wow’ed by the yo-yo tricks the master and his lackeys performed. Then it ended with “You can buy a yo-yo in back” or something like that. I don’t recall the specifics, it was 3rd grade after all. The key takeaway is that I ended up with a yo-yo. Not the one pictured, that’s my new yo-yo. The new one is identical to the old except the old was red. A bright red and black baby moon hubcap Duncan Wheel.

Why are we talking about Yo-yo’s?

Because I think it’s important to have distractions. Things you do when you’re working on a hard problem. Fidget spinners are trendy for that now. My dogs won’t allow me to use them (funny story), so they’re out.

So I have my yo-yo. I’m working on picking it up more and just mindlessly yo-yo‘ing. It helps that I picked up some new yo-yo string at the Moon Marble Company, so now my wheel has flair!

Distractions are important. While you’re fidget spinning or yo-yo’ing or whatever’ing, your brain is still working. The more mindless the distraction the better, because it frees up your mind to wander and work out that knot of a problem on its own.

What’s your go-to distraction?

Oh, and no, I am not a yo-yo master, not even close.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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