The Ramblings of an Introvert

Q10 – Distraction Free Writing

Q10 is s a writing app for Windows.  It doesn’t have a toolbar, to help keep you focused on writing, and it’s extremely lightweight unlike a lot of other word processing applications.  You can set timers to help keep you on task.  You can download a version that has spell checking, which is a must for me personally.

I would recommend Q10 if you’re looking for a writing app without all of the bells and whistles – that end up becoming distractions – and just want to focus on writing.

Download the Q10 writing app

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Think Fast, Talk Smart – Better Communication

Quick Notes:

  • Take a deep breath. Say "this is me feeling anxious".
  • We're trying to perform.  We're trying to do it the right way.  There is no right way.  There are better ways.
  • We need to have a conversation, not a performance.
  • Use questions.
  • Use conversational language. "This is important to you, because..." instead of "One must consider....A, B, C, etc..."
  • Our brain stockpiles, it tries to figure out how to win the "game".
  • Our brains will also find patterns and use them.
  • You need to train your brain to get out of its own way.
  • In a social situation, we put too much pressure on ourselves to "get it right".
  • We want to respond in a way that genuine and authentic.
  • Dare to be dull.
  • We can think of things as me vs. them. Not as an opportunity. We need to see things as an opportunity.

Game to play:

  • A gives B a gift. Then B opens it and says "Thank you for the ______".
  • They come up with the gift they received.
  • Switch.
  • Come up with the first thing on your mind. Make sure not to use your stockpiled items that you've come up with.
  • Only see what the gift is once you've opened it up. View this as a spontaneous opportunity.
"YES AND" instead to "NO, BUT" re-frame as an opportunity vs. being defensive.

Another game:

  • Tell your partner what fun thing you're going to do today by spelling it.
  • This teaches you to focus and listen.
  • "Don't just do something.  Listen."
  • We have to respond in a structured way.
  • This helps with processing fluency.  Structure helps us remember.
Useful Structure #1
Problem or opportunity  > Solution > Benefit
Useful Structure #2
What?  > So What? > Now What?

More from Matt Abrahams on communication:

Read more on Think Fast, Talk Smart – Better Communication

Barley Salad

Here’s my take on a barley salad. Ideally, you would want to use fresh parsley, but I only had dried. I use this recipe, so I thought I would share it. Please tweak it to your liking.


  • T = Tablespoon
  • C = Cup


  • Olive oil – 1/4 C
  • Honey – 2 T
  • Barley(uncooked) – 1 C
  • Parsley(dried) – 1 T
  • Black Beans – 1 can
  • Carrot(finely chopped) – 1 C
  • Lemon Juice – 6 T
  • Salt and Pepper – to taste
  • Onion(finely chopped) – 1/2 C
  • Cucumber(chopped)
  • Tomato(chopped)


  1. Cook barely.
  2. Put cooked barely into the refrigerator until it’s cold.
  3. Mix barley with the olive oil, lemon juice, and honey.
  4. Mix in parsley.
  5. Rinse the canned black beans to get rid of excess juices.
  6. Mix in black beans, onion, carrot, cucumber, and tomato.
  7. Serve
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