Deep Work was convicting… and dug up some old ouches. But most of all, it gave me something to do about the sneaking suspicion that my mental fitness was disintegrating. I had one of those moments this week – I reached for my concentration, and I found a bag of goo. What.The.Heck.
I’ve had that moment in my physical body – the moment when you reach for strength or endurance and come up empty handed. What you’ve always assumed was a given, suddenly isn’t there. It’s upsetting.
Yes, some of what I have to do with life will hamper my mental fitness routine, just like some of what I have to get done in life hampers my physical fitness routine. But I’m not a mom of littles any longer – I do have the ability to improve the place I’m at, even if I can’t maximize my potential in a perfect world – I can improve where I am. So, I made a list to get started with (this will grow, but we have to start somewhere, and doing it all at once isn’t wise):
- Limit my surfing time. I’m not really going to limit my internet qua internet – but I can choose to close my web browser unless I’m in a deliberate period of surfing OR using it for a tool.
- Practice mental hygiene. This is coming up in my spiritual life too – “Take every thought captive”. “Pray without ceasing”. “Dwell on that which is good…” This includes:
- No imaginary conversations (my chief vice)
- No repeating mental circles. Write things down!
- Make lists – this will help with repeating circles, and release my mental processes to other things.
- Practice free-writing. Again, releasing the inner chatterbox and getting it out and away.
- Decide on something NOT internet related for my breaks.
- Take up reading properly in the evenings again.
- Make prayer lists and post them so I can practice prayer without ceasing.
While I was sorting that out, another bit of mental hygiene occurred to me – I want to get more things done, because I don’t want to give up anything, and I want to go deeper/get better with the things I do. That means lollygagging has to go. So – again I’m at
- Make lists of things to do
- Calendar the must-dos (I do this already, have for years, it’s one of my Sunday prep-for-the-week-ahead things)
- Do the next thing – reduce hesitation, just do the thing.
- Make a personal schedule for the times I am able to have such a thing (which is, essentially, the mornings before everyone gets up and my days become little snowflakes of individuality).
That’s enough for one month, I think. I’m expecting to be pretty tired and a bit achy when next you hear from me. I got my feet wet a bit last week (before taking a rebellious wallow in distraction-land) and I could feel my brain tiring. That’s okay. Did you know your brain burns mad calories? 😀 Nah, I got this. It will be work, but it’s worth doing.