Last night I bought a new silver exercise ball to sit on at my desk. My old one fell prey to the scrawny cat who also lives here, and I’d been several weeks in a normal chair. i feel far more enthusiastic about being at work here now that I have a better place to sit. Having allowed my focus to be disrupted this week, I’m happy to be back in the saddle and looking to stay here for a wild ride ahead.
I’m working on keeping my focus on the things I am passionate about and finding ways to be adaptable in an unpredictable schedule, using every shred of free time to dedicate myself to my practice, especially writing. This is a huge challenge for me, because I like to block off certain times and days to dedicate to tasks rather than jumping into them without preparation and being in a proper head space; I’d be more prone to create a morning writing ritual than to slide in a writing session between breakfast and doing laundry.
Alas, my current situation does not allow such a luxury, so I’m learning to be more and more reflexive to my life’s twists and turns. “20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time” has offered me some useful advice for using small blocks of time productively, a skill that is becoming increasingly vital to me. I’ve already been using small blocks for keeping up with reading feeds in Reader, but I’m now planning to create a reading file and will be making it a point to fine tune a set of short meditation techniques and physical exercises I can fit into 10 minute slivers of time. Cultivating focus is the key to making this work, and the payoff of increased productivity will be well worth it.
Procrastination is a big hurdle for me, and “Four Reasons Why We Procrastinate” has been a great help in identifying the causes of this.
2. Feeling overwhelmed.
3. Trying to be perfect.
4. Rather do something else.
My primary blocks are my perfectionist tendencies and the lure of pleasurable activities. I’m always working against my perfectionism, but I’m working with my desires by incorporating work and pleasure. How? Right now I’m enjoying a nice big glass of lychee bubble tea as I type.
Over at the Riran Project there’s a sharp article on increasing productivity under the title “33 Obvious, ‘No-Duh’ Ways to Increase Your Computer Productivity.” A large part of this deals with posture and setup of the physical work environment, which an exercise ball and a nice, simple desk takes care of for me. Using Ubuntu, Firefox and GMail takes care of the software problems I encountered with Microsoft and other similarly clunky bits. After these things I easily took care of, there are some nice simple tips on focus, streamlining, breaks, nutrition and general health. Taking these things into consideration is a must for those of us looking at doing our work well with computers.
Learning these techniques is very helpful, but maintaining a high level of energy is also essential for getting work done. I’ve neglected meditation and resistance training lately and have felt my energy flatline. I have been mindful of this but really made it the center of my thoughts today while reading “5 Back-to-Basics Strategies For Renewing Your Energy.”
2. Go to bed early and wake up early.
3. Maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.
4. Seek recovery every 90 to 120 minutes.
5. Do at least two weight-training workouts a week.
I’m now also working on increasing the number of meals I eat daily beyond my normal three and ensuring I get at least 7 hours of sleep in a block each day.
Energy, focus and efficiency will go a long way in laying down patterns to create a life in which I can deliver my best. As the drive to be as fully expressive of the creative and evolutionary force becomes increasingly stronger, every tool has to come into play. I’ll happily employ these small ones.