Listening to the body

Despite the worries (which all turned out real), I ended up having a decent day yesterday. I wrote to Axc, but never heard back from them. I’m trying to make myself accept their decision. I also failed the blood test—joint lowest ever score of 131 g/l. On the other hand, I did end up getting a fair amount of work done. I also enjoyed the run in the evening—35 mins of easy run finished with 20 mins of fartlek. I ended the day very tired, slightly disheartened (I’d expected the reply from Axc at end of day), but fairly satisfied. I even finished reading a book in the bed before sleeping.

Today began well—woke to Chewie snuggled up between my legs. Worked for a couple of hours, then went downstairs for a bit of stretching, refreshing, and to pick up Dudley—today is Dudley Wednesday :)

By the time I returned back upstairs, it was already over 3 hours since I’d woken up. The morning coffee had worn off, and I was feeling surprisingly drowsy. These are usually my freshest, most productive hours. This could be due to the hay fever tab, or an effect of the run and foam rolling last evening.

I could have made another coffee, and warded the drowsiness off. But, for once, I decided to listen to the body and give it a break. I had no immediate deadlines, and I had already done over 2 hours of productive work. So, I went downstairs, drank a lot of water, got under the covers, called the boys onto the bed, set an alarm for 90 mins, and we all went to sleep1 :)

It was a beautiful, warm sleep with both boys snuggled on either side. I woke up refreshed. Not just the mind, even the legs and body felt a lot recovered. We drank more water, and went for a walk. Followed it up with lunch, another short rest, and then back to work2. It’s been another super productive 3 hours now, and I am back to being satisfied. And happy. Mostly.

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Productivity tip: write things down

Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.

—David Allen, GTD for Teens

The more I hold in my head, the more my head flips around between thoughts, the less focused I am, the less productive I am.

Just write the thought down, bring it to a (temporary) closure, and focus on the task at hand.

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Light, weather, and productivity—thoughts from a summer rain shower

My (home) office is in a small attic conversion. I have a large window right in front of me, and a smaller one behind. Light from the small window creates a reflection on the monitor, so its shade stays down. I like a lot of light in the room, so I prefer keeping the shade on the large window open.

The large window faces south, and overlooks my backyard. The trees on the mount provide the backdrop. When the sun is up, the south-face means it shines straight through the window, and into my eyes. There’s a cluster of trees to the east end of the backyard that stops the sun coming in early in the morning. Later in the evening, the sun dips sufficiently to the West for the light to not fall straight on me. However, if the sun is out, for most of the day it shines straight into my eyes, forcing me to close the shade—darkening the room.

…if the sun is out.

That phrase is at the centre of my paradox.

I am happier when it is sunny. I am also a lot more productive when there’s a lot of light in my room. Sadly, the position of the window means that I can’t be both.
If the sun is out, I can’t keep the window open so am neither uber-productive nor very happy.
If the sun is not out, I can keep the window open, so am quite productive, if not as happy.

This is where the seasons also make a play. In winter, the days are short, and the sun rarely makes an appearance even in those short days. This makes most people sad, including me. But this also means that I can keep the window shade open all day. This gives a tremendous boost to my productivity (and relative mood).1

In summer, the days are long, and the sun makes an appearance more often. So I need to keep the window shade closed most days—a dampener to both productivity and the mood. The mood recovers a bit from walking/running in the sun during the midday break, but productivity does suffer.

Why am I writing this now? Because I just recorded this observation.

I had quite a productive autumn-winter-spring this year. However, I have been struggling a bit to keep the work going at the same pace since the sun started showing up. However, for the last 10 days or so, we have had a fair amount of rain and rain-like weather. This has meant very little strong sun, and I have been able to keep the window shades open. Productivity has been through the roof!

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