Welcome back! Hope everyone’s 2021 is off to a great start and going great! 📈 In mylast blog post I shared my resolutions, reflections, and outlook for the new year. As I started my journey, a week into the new year, I read about this neat idea about having a theme for each month to make resolutions more fun.
I absolutely love self experiments with a set of defined parameters and time window, so I figured I’d try it out. For January, I chose Patience. I read many articles, research papers, and Tedx talks about how we’re constantly stimulated, that we lack true focus, and being bored is how you build it up. I practise meditation quite regularly so I thought to myself,
“How hard can it be?”
Never have I ever uttered a set of 5 words that I’d come to regret more.
So first things first, how can I be bored in a productive way? What activities, rules, and parameters do I need to setup for this. Based on some google searches and lifestyle choices, I chose the following 3 things.
#1. Limit phone screen time to 30 minutes a day.
Boy was this HARD! I’m a “hardcore casual user” 😅 I don’t sit on my phone all day but while I wait for microwave to go off, code to compile, take a walk, or practically do anything that requires a little break, I’m on my phone.
I browse Instagram more often that I care to admit and I check Slack practically all the time. So I implemented this rule to ensure I take small windows of boredom in my day. The need for stimulation was REAL!!! I was hoping it gets better after a week or so but gawd NO, I had to consciously tell myself to put the phone down and just BE. Turns out I am not as in control as I thought I’d be, and this experiment was definitely a humility check.
I was able to narrow down the phone checking to designated breaks and while I was taking rest between my sets at the gym and definitely didn’t stick to 30 minutes most days. However, I can noticeably tell the difference in my focus levels and reduced craving of my phone.
#2. Only watch TV while eating.
This wasn’t as bad tbh, I do generally only watch TV during meal breaks so I just had to find other things to fill my time when I’m bored instead of turning on the TV. However, during meals I had this habit of letting the TV run for another epsiode or two, and that wasn’t particularly helping anything 😅 (I’m also one of those people who watches the same thing over and over again.)
So all I had to do was create a rule of turning off TV either when my meal is finished or when an epsiode finishes, whichever comes first! I caught myself eating slower to watch the full episode, or just catch the beginning of the next one before turning it off, so just needed to remind myself why I’m doing this here and there.
#3. Use Pomodoro technique.
You hear about these all the time and even though most people swear by it, just as many don’t think it’s all that effective.
Pomodoro is essentially programming your mind to have windows of productivity while taking small breaks in between. So each work cycle is 45 minutes work followed by a 5 minute break, and every 3rd break is about 15-30 mins.
To know more about it, go here: https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique
Overall, I think it was a fun theme, not life changing or anything but I do like it enough to continue it for few more months. Being intentionally bored for an entire month has allowed me to sit quietly and somewhat relaxed on a 15 hour non-stop flight to India with 3 children around me and no in-flight entertainment. At one point, I was just breathing slowly and relaxing while everyone around me was getting flustered and I felt really proud. (Little ego here and there never hurt anyone 😉)
I haven’t quite figured out how to focus on demand unless I’m on a pomodoro clock working session, but I am able to take a deep breath and reset my mood a little so I’d consider that a win.
Final words 🙏
First of all, thank you so so much for reading this article! I am full of gratitude and I thank you for being here.
For Febuary I have lots of family responsibilites so the monthly resolution theme is not quite as structured. So we’ll see what happens there.
Did you try anything new this year? How are your resolutions coming along? DM me and share how you’re #DoingBetter 😄 If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for our newsletter by entering your email to get notified on new posts or follow us on social media if that’s more your speed on Instagram or Facebook.