Giving my eyes a break

It seems like these days, every waking moment is spent in front of a screen. Ok, I’m exaggerating. But it’s certainly several hours a day. If it’s not the screen, it’s paper, books, etc. etc. I seem to be getting a headache very quickly these days from all the screen time and reading. I spend may be 2 hours of awake time not straining my eyes for some close activity. That’s so bad….

For the last week or so, I’ve decided to give Audible a serious try. It’s really comforting to just close my eyes and listen. Helps me slow down the pace of the day and get my book count up.

Thursday, 24 Jan 2019

It’s that time again, when I sit and stare at the screen…not sure what to write. So I’m just going to write random thoughts. It’s the end of the work week for me today and I’m so very tired. I’m happy but tired. It’s been a good week. I got a lot of things done and I’m well on my way to getting more done. It’s nice to get things done…. the sense of accomplishment, the feeling that something has been achieved is quite elevating. This afternoon I was walking around with a silly grin on my face… probably because the week was over for me, probably because it felt good that I managed to achieve quite a bit.

Happy Thursday everyone…. may your weekend be pleasant.

Self-discipline…. or the lack of it

I often struggle with self-discipline. Something I want to actively change. I can very well make up a schedule for myself and decide that I need to stick to it… only to completely ignore it. I don’t have a problem keeping appointments or even making sure that I submit work when there’s a strict deadline. I’ve never missed a flight or had a problem getting my kid to school.

My problem tends to be more personal and from the numerous articles and posts that I read, I realize that this is somewhat of an epidemic…. or at least it seems that way.

I’ve come across several good tips that I feel are helping:

  • Don’t break the chain: Doing something everyday and marking it off on your calendar is an effective method. So basically, don’t break the chain. This is useful for creating a habit and many people call it a habit tracker. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I’ve been using this to journal (one paragraph of reflection/ gratitude), study, blogging.
  • Block out time on your calendar: Make a schedule and stick to it. The most famous of schedules is probably Benjamin Franklin’s. He detailed his entire day, blocking out time for work. The idea is to go into “Deep Work” mode or “Laser” mode. This isn’t easy when you have people constantly calling/ sending messages. It seems that we very rarely get uninterrupted time any more. I’m really failing at this one. 
  • Break down tasks: A big reason we don’t get around to doing things (procrastinating!!!) is not because we are lazy. It’s because we either feel overwhelmed with the sheer size of the project or we don’t know how to get started. I’m trying to break things down. I write out steps no matter how small they may be and then arrange them in an order to start. This is really helping me. Seeing a series of smaller tasks doesn’t seem so overwhelming any more.
  • Just do it (like Nike!): I’ve written about this before. Another big reason for procrastinating is the need for perfection. While it seems like doing something perfectly is a positive, it can end up being a big hindrance. The fear of not accomplishing something well enough often leads to no action at all. This is why when I came across the words… Progress over Perfection, it seemed like genius. We can spend hours thinking of the perfect was to do something or, we can just do it. It’s good to be accurate but it’s ok not to be perfect.

All these tips are easier said than done. Life and distractions always seem to get in the way. I’m trying to work at this everyday and pick up further pointers as I go along.

Meditation… just can’t do it

The few times I’ve tried to meditate, it’s just so weird. I close my eyes and sit there, trying to listen to my breathing and my mind is thinking twenty different things. I try to shut out any images but just the oddest things seem to appear out of the darkness. I can’t seem to get on board with the idea of just sitting still and doing nothing. I can’t let go of my thoughts.

I realize that I have an active mind. I am a worrier and I definitely overthink everything. I find it really hard to switch off which leads to insomnia and late nights.

Over the years, I’ve read and hear such good things about meditation. Keeps you calm, helps you focus, improves your health, good for your soul, etc etc. The list goes on. In all the years, that I’ve known about meditation, I’ve never been able to practice it. I probably should try harder but I’m giving up instead. I guess it’s just not my thing.

 

 

Book review: Make Time

https://maketimebook.com/

It’s not often that I do a book review but this time I’m “Making Time” to do this review. (Sorry about the bad pun).

I decided to listen to this book on audible. It’s been narrated by the authors themselves and they’ve done a great job at making it really enjoyable to listen to. It’s not a long book but I didn’t take notes while listening and decided to get through it before I lose focus or get bored.

I didn’t get bored.

The book sets out tactics to Make Time for things in your life, whether it’s a project or just working on your goals or feeling happier. Whether you’re super busy because of work or just feel like time is slipping away from you, this book can be helpful.

I didn’t feel like it was another run-of-the-mill productivity book but rather real tactics that you can choose to implement in your life. More importantly, none of the tactics are very imposing. While there is definitely a certain amount of self-control and discipline required to implement these tactics, the authors make sure to keep reminding you that small steps are acceptable, not all tactics need to be followed and they don’t need to be done all at once. There are 87 tactics and we are allowed to pick and choose our combination.

The authors have a helpful website (https://maketimebook.com/) which lists all the tactics and provides helpful resources. The book is worth buying and definitely worth reading.

(I purchased this book myself and was not paid or asked to write this review. These opinions are my own)