Productivity

<em>Is it a Matter of Biting Off More Than We Can Chew; or A Simple Case of Not Being Focused?</em>

Is it a Matter of Biting Off More Than We Can Chew; or A Simple Case of Not Being Focused?

It’s been 21 days that I have posted an article every day.

I am grateful for the self-imposed challenge, but I find that other things that are important to me have fallen by the wayside.

And herein is my dilemma.

This struggle is nothing new for me: I easily overcommit and run after the shiny things rolling around in the corner.

I want to write, but I want to do X, Y, & Z too.

But…I can’t accomplish everything and still maintain a healthy life balance.

I need to sleep sometime, and I find that is usually the first thing to go when I’ve overextended myself.

Sleep is a precious commodity to staying healthy and living a full and long life.

There’s a plethora of studies that confirm this and an entire division of science dedicated to sleep. It’s not a new concept that if you sacrifice sleep on a regular basis, you will sacrifice your physical and mental health, and shorten your lifespan.

Yet, it is never just one thing.

Sleep tanked, yes…but other areas suffered and were put on hold too. I found myself becoming more and more stressed by not having enough time in the day to complete other tasks: classes I’m taking, web design, working a part-time gig, reading, finishing a novel, and researching for the next article.

Because let’s face it, when you contribute to a site like Medium.com, you need to have well-written and well-researched material.

If you don’t have the time to read and research, your articles are not going to be the best. They’ll be littered with disjointed opinions and ideas that don’t add value to anyone; rather those articles just become another outlet for personal writing like you would find in a journal.

Of course, for some of us that consume such material—myself included—it’s one thing to read someone like James Altucher’s material (he bleeds all over the page about his life, and I love it), versus someone like Zat Rana who writes incredibly well researched and thought-provoking articles on a consistent basis (which I also love).

Well, there’s certainly a contrast between both, but also a common thread…both are well read, and both do a ton of research.

I find that when I’m not focused and am pulled by too many projects and thoughts and nebulous ideas at the same time, I’m frustrated, anxious, and do not produce anything that resembles my best.

This is why multitasking is such a high anxiety producer; you do just enough to check off the next item in the list of whatever that needed your attention right now, and then move onto the next 9-1-1 emergency vying for your mental and physical attention, but is it your best work?

So, for now, I’ll go back to publishing an article on a regular basis, whether it’s weekly, or bi-monthly, I haven’t decided yet.

What I do know is that I want my articles to add value and create a space in someone’s life to give pause and consider what is important and hopefully stir that consideration into a positive next step.

***

Takeaway

Being scattered and overcommitted in our lives creates a tension and anxiety that just doesn’t need to be.

That anxiety can be overwhelming, and our productivity suffers, not to mention relationships, goals and dreams, and our sanity.

The most satisfying and rewarding times in my life have been when I have prioritized what is truly important and then focused my attention on those things.

During those time, even when I’ve failed, being focused and not allowing myself to be pulled in every direction, those failures haven’t registered as a failure, but something to draw my inner strength upon and to figure a way around, under, or through whatever obstacle that got in the way.

And(!) when I’m focused and have my commitments aligned in a unified direction, my life is more at peace.

~ Love


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Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Intentional Living, Life Hack, Productivity, Purpose, Self, Self-Improvement, stress, Writing
<em>Teaching is the Best Teacher</em>

Teaching is the Best Teacher

The dreaded spelling test.

Ugh!

I hated spelling tests in school. Every. stinking. week.

Here’s how it went down…

Monday – copy the new spelling words.

Monday night through Thursday – Play. Play with my dog, the cat, ride my bike, matchbox cars, build models, and watch stupid amounts of T.V.

Thursday night? – Think to myself, (ONLY IF the thought hit me) Hm…I have a spelling test tomorrow. I’ll study in the morning. Then finish off watching T.V.

Friday morning – Oh crap (or some adult variation that children shouldn’t repeat) I have a [bleeping] spelling test this morning. Then I would spend the time getting to school with notes in hand trying my best to memorize the weekly spelling list.

I usually got a good grade after said test, because I “studied” (memorized) the list right beforehand; and…wrote down the hard words on my palm; and…looked at the pretty girl’s answers sitting next to me.

Then?

I flushed everything I committed to memory.

***

There’s nothing wrong with committing things to memory.

Memorization gives the brain something to chew on. It’s an incredible device. Our brains will make things up to crunch on in a moments notice, and if we don’t keep it busy, it’ll just keep ticking away at whatever it wants to. This isn’t always ideal.

But the learning that gets embedded deep down into our intelligence doesn’t come from memorization alone.

This is why when we teach a new subject to someone, we reinforce it with practical application.

Yet, if you want to learn something that becomes second nature, repetition may help muscle memory in some instances—usually a physical skill versus a cognitive skill—but it won’t suffice to take us to the level of being an expert.

The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. It’s an old idea but something that we could use reminding, especially if you’re intentionally trying to change things up in life.

A recent study released by Applied Cognitive Psychology revealed that control groups who learned a new subject and then taught a lesson on that subject scored higher on a comprehension test than control groups that did not engage in teaching the subject.

I know in my life when I’ve tried to learn something new, I can be frustrated with the learning curve.

Yet the learning curve is reduced dramatically if I can get myself out of my shell, which is usually tucked away in my cave, and teach someone, anyone, who’s willing to endure my lesson.

***

Take Away

The subject can be anything. We immediately think of academics here.

What about attempting to incorporate a new way of thinking? Or stop thinking a certain way so that repeatable negative cycles cease.

Teaching the why and the process and the knowledge behind whatever it is will help drive learning into the bedrock of conviction, and it becomes apart of you.

No matter what you’ve given yourself to learning; an new skill set for work, for your business, or even a new mindset (or belief) to better the quality of your life, if you really want to learn it, teach it and you’ll find yourself taking leaps and not just baby steps in the direction you want to improve.


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Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Change, Life Hack, Living Better, Productivity, Reinvention, Self-Improvement