Cracking it

Sometimes it seems the things I’m aiming for are so close I could reach out and grab them. But when I do, they remain just out of reach. I can’t seem to crack it. My mind knows all the decisions to make, and often does make them, but somehow I end up staying awake too late and sleeping fewer hours than is conducive to good health.

Letting go of all the world’s worries and giving in to the peace beyond is surprisingly difficult. My paid work is currently a Monday to Friday thing. This doesn’t mean every week has a discreet start and endpoint for projects, but it means I have two days weekends. And even if I do finish all my tasks by the close of business Friday, there will be more donations come the beginning of the next working week, so there’s no point worrying overly much about it.

What has helped manage the stress that unfinished work can produce in my mind, is shifting my perspective. Instead of aiming solely to finish any work in my to-do pile for a week, I aim to work efficiently and effectively for the hours I am paid for. This sometimes allows me to finish the work of any given week, but other times it doesn’t. This is ok. Accepting this is fact has taken conscious, consistent effort. And when I do manage to cordon off that part of my brain at the end of a work week, I can fully embrace what my weekends are useful for. Editing my book, resting, meaningful time with friends, and enjoying time noodling around on my guitar.

Something else almost within reach, but which seems so far away, is eliminating unnecessary distractions. It’s a work in progress. Since finishing highschool, I have unintentionally aligned some of my default actions to be initially procrastinatory rather than productive. This is partly because of societal encouragements around me, and partly due to the temptation of laziness and inaction. One big time sink for me is YouTube. I follow some YouTubers who provide useful information, like research on medieval customs and combat or sport highlights to help engage my tactical mind. There are others I follow purely for their entertainment value, which can easily suck me into watching many videos. Sometimes far too many all at once, using up more time than is helpful.

What has started to turn this around for me is setting little ‘traps’, to fall into doing productive things. Having healthy snacks, readily available, to keep my energy levels up before I make the physically less taxing choice to just watch something. Leaving my guitar and books in obvious places to pick up before I even see my computer. And if I do find myself lured by the temptation of my computer, leaving my manuscript editing program open and ready to go. These are three things which are good for my wellbeing and productivity, but they each present a fair amount of resistance to overcome before I’m full immersed in doing them.

In short, when I’m aiming for something and it gets close enough i to be almost within reach: keep working consistently and I’ll get there.

* * *

How do you deal with something which stays just out of reach?

What strategies do you implement to help propel yourself over the line?

* * *

Don’t lose hope! If something is just out of reach it means you’re almost there. A little more concerted effort and you will achieve your goals. PEACE.

Cover photo by Martins Krastins from Pexels.

5 thoughts on “Cracking it

  1. Gary Fultz says:

    It takes a disciplined effort to get better at ignoring distractions and constantly forming ways to have better productivity. When one is worth more they get paid more (in many jobs). Ones work ethic is a part of what builds character in every area of life…mental social physical and spiritual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Disciplined effort is what will get us closer to the ideal work-rest balance. Mental, social, physical, and spiritual are all interrelated. In Aotearoa (New Zealand) there is a wellbeing model called, Te Whare Tapa Wha, which shows how each aspect rely on and support each other.

      I pray you go well into your coming week. 😊

      Like

  2. Sundaram Chauhan says:

    Hey Hamish. These are daily struggles, yes. And I feel sucked into YouTube too. I read a book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, just to learn how to keep myself intact, and it was good. Now I keep it on my table, to reference back to whenever I forget the benefits of not giving in to the distractions. Wish you a great Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

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