Monday, March 7, 2016

A helpful tool for work focus

All my March resolutions are turning out to be not just GREAT™ but actually great—I have something to say about every single one, but for now I’ll just mention that my rule of starting each workday by doing an hour of actual diligent work at my standing desk has been a surprisingly helpful discipline.

The standing-up part has not been as much of a challenge as I expected; I’ve actually already built up a lot of standing-desk endurance, and I move around and stretch quite a bit to keep my back from hurting. The more difficult part is not getting distracted for an hour straight. What tends to happen is that as soon as I hit a tough decision of some kind, or something I need to take time to figure out, or something out of my comfort zone—and it is crazy how often one of those three things has been happening (note to self: Get smarter and more skilled and expand your comfort zone ASAP)—I have to fight an impulse to run straight to Facebook. And then Twitter. And then a bunch of blogs. And then Facebook again.

A couple of times I’ve had to take a deep breath, go make myself some tea, and read a book for a while before going back to my desk and facing down whatever the trouble spot was. (The resolution specifies that I’m allowed to take breaks as long as they don’t involve the Internet.) One day last week I knew I had a particularly ugly task in front of me, so as a means of procrastinating I sat in the living room sipping tea and knitting for an hour or so before, fortified and strengthened, I went to my desk to Just Do It™.

That’s probably not as good as getting right down to work, or maybe it is, but I know for sure it’s a lot better than cycling among social media feeds and following links until guilt or deadline pressure forces me to get a grip on my life.

This might be that “mindfulness” thing I keep hearing about. Weird.

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