21 July 2010

Accepting free time

This post is for all the workaholics out there. I've come to realize my biggest flaw before was that "free time" was associate with fear and guilt for me which was why I tried to keep myself busy at all times and the idea of "sit back and watch a movie" would seem like overkill to me. I mean, I'd watch movies but rarely all at one go, I'd be thinking "ok, I know usually after 40 minutes of relaxing, I'm recharged enough to get some stuff done" and so I pause the film and get back to getting things done....

But in came Sunday and boy was I burnt out, to the point I literally couldn't focus properly, the idea of having to focus while trying to drift in games like Need for Speed was already too much for me to handle, let alone take care of my projects. I didn't take me 40 minutes but more like 40 hours to get out of that funk! It wasn't until Monday night when I finally felt charged up again and ready to rock it out. I took some time that evening to kind of wonder if my life drastically got ruined because I had technically taken 40 hours of my potential work time and basically burnt them all away. In fact, I was quite happy because I had kind of done something -- watch movies that I always wanted to watch!

I think I finally realized it wasn't the free time that was bothering me and making me feel bad, it was the time I had when I had to "what shall I do?". That idea of sitting around wasting time not doing anything was what was getting to me. So instead, I re-organized my lovely to do list a bit more and now I'm even more ready for my work to-do's, my personal to-do's and my freetime to-do's. Of course freetime to-do's are kind of like personal to-do's except that they don't have any real deadline and are relaxing tasks rather than something I need to concentrate too hard on. Yes, if you've been following my blog, you'll know I like to schedule my rest periods :P.

So here I am on a Wednesday morning, while most of Hong Kong is at work, I'm here on my bed, enjoying a bit of me-time with this entry :). Speaking of me time, I've begun a new trend of hiking up to the peak (well half-way really) like I used to do around 1-2 years ago. It's really mentally clearing because whenever I go for that walk, I get to enjoy the peace, freshness and of course rejuvenation that comes along being in the greenery. Oh and I get my exercise on! :) It also helps me just walk away from all this crap around me for just 1 hour. I literally can go from my room to halfway to the peak and back home in just an hour! Yes, I kept track of this because it's better than me leaving the house, realizing I'm running short of time and rushing back home. Unlike the lovely treadmill at the gym, I can't just stop whenever I want to....

Speaking of the gym, I've been having quite an awesome workout lately, I've just gone nuts and adjusted my weights workouts according to how much I can take that day, each time trying to squeeze out that 1 extra rep. Heck, after the last 2 workouts, I've literally had 2 days of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)! It's been a while since that happened to this point.

My comedy writing has improved as I've learned the power of the pomodoro technique and what you can do in 25 minutes. Not to mention having a better organization system for my comedy bits really helps!

Back to some thoughts I've had this week. I was reading a bunch of blog articles and many of them talked about simplifying your life and this has inspired me to kind of simplify my life and also add a few rituals to it. For example, my work desk is now strictly kept clear of all things not-work related. I don't care if it means throwing things on the floor but I don't want to see anything but my work stuff there. This also kind of forces me to keep my energy focused on work. Also, I've created a new ritual that once the sky is dark, I light one of my old scented candles from before (yes it hasn't finished) and turn on my lavalamp. I'm hoping to create one of those brain switches where your mind thinks you're in a different place, so I don't feel so stressed if I can't get everything done, to me, I'm home and there's no more rush like I have during the day. So far so good, but I'm lacking in music, the music I listen to during the day is the same music at night (yes I don't know what to listen to because I already listen to lounge music while I work)... so there's a little gap there in my plan, but hopefully I'll have solved that in 10 days before my next entry!

Well we're hitting the 25 minute mark of this entry and so far so good. I'm relaxed and my lovely inbox is at a Zero count (any gtd person's goal) so today seems like a day I can focus on a few things I've always wanted to take care of but never had the time and energy to do. Here's to 10 days of lots of freetime and no guilt! :D



Blogger chantalstanford said...

Do you ever manage to sit back and not do anything?

21 July, 2010 19:23  
Anonymous Kimmy said...

the whole keeping non-work related stuff away from the table is a good thing. I tried it once, didn't work too well and will give it another try when I get back home :)

23 July, 2010 22:17  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Chantal, I think I got traumatized by one of Jerry Seinfeld's bits about doing nothing, still working out the cure... :)

Kimmy, ahah it's harder than it looks really because now I need a place to temporarily deposit my items till I want to deal with them.. without it turning into a semi-attic cardboard box situation (throwing stuff on the floor for now just doesn't cut it...) :P

24 July, 2010 11:46  
Blogger Chi said...

Hahaha! Oh man, i have the exact problem!

Since moving back to HK (Maybe it's the air?), I feel like I should be using ever moment doing something useful, do some work, earn money, learn something new, go training... ANYTHING but to waste time. and it's killing me! my ability to be creative is disappearing fast and making me hate design a little. I know where the problem is, yet I still can't seem to stop and rest. Hope you can pull it off

27 July, 2010 12:25  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Ahaha Chi, it's the energy around HK that makes you like that, seeing everyone around you rushing all the time makes you wonder if you're running late when you're actually on holiday... in some ways it can drive you nuts, in others it's like motivation for free!! :)

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! :D

27 July, 2010 23:01  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home