work reflections and quieting the mind – 22/2/19

The past 2 weeks of work have been busy at work and has caused me stress and bad sleep. So I wanted to write some notes on how to improve the situation.

I do practice being present, but often times I get lazy and the practice fades away. It is supposed to be the core practice to everything and I still believe that. I think the main piece I have been missing is to really focus on having quiet gaps in my mind. When you are practicing being present, you are focusing on the present moment and not allowing yourself to be caught in nonstop thinking. When I do practice being present, I am able to get into that state for brief periods of time, but I don’t think its frequent enough. My work style is typically spending time thinking and so I have a hard time pausing. So I have several adjustments. I will practice being present in the afternoon. My afternoons are usually busy with my work schedule, so its important that I schedule it in, otherwise I will get swept away with all my other commitments. I am also adjusting my review wall and daily questions to have a question: “did I quiet my mind today?”. I have also started to listen to Andrew Johnson‘s mindfulness audio segments, they are very relaxing.

I’m supposed to be enforcing not being in slack and email all the time so I can focus on working on the business. Its better than before, but needs a lot of work still. I really want to practice not being attached to slack all the time. I am going to test again using slack and emails only at certain periods of the day. I think maybe I will create a work log just like I have a health log.

The other change I am going to make is to implement at least 5 mins breaks between meetings. On many of my work days, I have no breaks between meetings, I can’t finish thinking about the meeting or write notes because its to the next meeting immediately. With a tiny break, hopefully its enough to quiet the mind for a few minutes and reflect on the meeting. There is one other change I am going to do with my calendar. I do have slots now in my calendar for deep work, but they are placeholders. On the morning of, I do usually change the topic to be a specific item I am going to work on and that does help me focus. To focus more, I am going to try and do this a week ahead of time so I can schedule out more of the work I want to do. If I am not able to complete the item on time, I can still adjust my calendar on a daily basis, but this should help with overall planning and not feeling overwhelmed.

The other thing I am I need to do is be able to compartmentalize my work. When my stress level is high, I will wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts of work replaying in my head. For the past few months, I have been sleeping in my office and as soon as I woke up would go to my computer. I am in the process of moving my office to another room. I am going to create a daily review wall for work with a reminder to quiet the mind daily as soon as my new office is ready.

Sometimes after work and if I wake up in the middle of the night, work topics will pop into my mind automatically. I do believe there is a way to fix it, I just don’t know how to yet. I notice I sometimes get anxiety when I feel like I have too many items on my todo list that are due. I feel like I can’t let people down or being the blocker on certain tasks. I can’t let my todo list control me. I am not confident yet on how to fix it, but here are some ideas I may try:

  • don’t take on more TODO items
  • only focus on rocks and OKRs and less so on smaller items
  • delete all my work browser tabs daily so I don’t feel overwhelmed
  • delegate smartly through my team instead of trying to do it all
  • practice having a quiet mind by default instead of the other way around
  • enforce not being in slack/email all day
  • only work on the 3 main big todo items of the day and be content with that
  • meditate on being a speck of dust
  • meditate on death
  • meditate on joy
  • reduce multitasking (this has been getting better over time already)
  • be ok with not getting everything done on time, sometimes you can’t get it all done
  • try using tools like clickup to help keep my projects on track via automation

Hopefully this all helps, we’ll see 🙂

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