Unplugging, Efficiency, and Seeking To Improve Focus

So it’s Friday.  Glory halleluia!  I totally DIDN’T do my workout this morning and, indeed, had a hard time dragging myself out of bed (this is always hard on Fridays because hubby is off and still sleeping and my body is like NOOOOO,  IT’S NOT FAAAAAAAAIR).

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about unplugging this week.  Fast Company has this whole CATEGORY of posts about unplugging.  They were all interesting (and did not all apply to me, actually–I’m surgically attached to my laptop, not my phone), but the one that really pinged for me was about Why You Need to Unplug Every 90 Minutes.  I’ve always known that people can’t usually focus for longer than an hour and a half to two hours.  It’s why those marathon 3 hour classes in grad school had a break in the middle.  And yeah, I’m pretty good about taking a break from doing actual work and going to go play on I Can Haz Cheezeburger or watch an episode of some new web series (presently digging Squaresville, which features Mary Kate Wiles, aka Lydia Bennet from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries–thanks for the rec @boomtrain!)[I really love web series because the episodes are around 5 minutes].  But I seldom UNPLUG.  That post had me downloading a timer app for my phone and setting up a loop timer to remind me to get up and walk away from the computer every 90 minutes.

I did this yesterday afternoon, taking my work (I have some paper copies I’m editing right now) and spending half an hour out in the courtyard  (it was late in the day and a freakishly low humidity day for June in MS).  And it was…kind of awesome.  Quiet.  So I think I shall make this a thing, when weather permits.  And when it doesn’t, still getting up every 90 minutes and resting my eyes, meditating, or making a loop around the whole building (if it’s raining) to stretch my legs.

That article also led me to another article on The Origin of the 8 Hour Workday and Why We Should Rethink It.  It’s all about improving focus, which we all know is something of great import to me these days.  I think it’s interesting and definitely something I’d like to try to incorporate.

I’m also considering getting up a little bit earlier in the mornings to try and nab a 20-30 minute writing block.  I will not likely ever be one of those people who wakes up at 4:30 or 5 to clock in my writing time before anyone else gets up (although ask me that again after I have a kid).  These days, I get up around 6:15 to work out for 45 minutes, then shower and go on through my get ready for work routine.  Occasionally I’ll rip out a hundred or two hundred words during breakfast (which, yeah, I eat at my computer–I know, I shouldn’t, but there you have it).  So next week, I thought I’d try rolling the alarm back by 15 minutes and see how that goes.  It’s already getting daylight around 5 right now, so that’s less offensive than trying to do it in the middle of winter or at the START of daylight savings time.  If that goes okay, I’ll try adding another 15 minutes.  That’s about my max though.  5:45 is as early as I am willing to get up and not be offended with the world for existing.  We’ll see how it goes.

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3 comments

  1. We shouldn’t be sitting for longer than a couple of hours no matter what we’re doing if we can help it. I posted about blood clots a long time ago, and now that hubby has had them, I’m even more concerned. But I guess I never thought about how our brains might actually need the break, not just our bodies. I hope your post makes us all more conscious of what our minds and bodies need. I wish I had a better place to walk around here at work besides a graveled lot.

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