The Self Experiment: Part 6 Me Time
I find I can focus on a challenge but that afterwards I need some “me time“. I can go straight on to the next challenge, and the next, and the next without having this time for me but I can distinguish a difference. There is a fall of in creativity, tasks seem to take more out of me, getting the result I want is harder. There is also a tendency to shut down certain aspects of my thinking or mental activity, a sort of energy conservation process I suppose. I can develop tunnel vision and taking on something new becomes harder than normal and at times impossible.
Why should I let this happen?
Have you ever driven along a motorway with the fuel gauge showing a little lower than you think you need to get where you are going? Do you keep going, push on and risk it because you might be late if you stop? Once you make this calculation the rest of the journey is a little more stressful, you keeping checking the gauge and the distance to go. You also miss most of the things you may normally see as you drive.
Another example of decisions that don’t work but I still do it is getting home hungry and opting to order in rather than cook. So I become passive in the food creation process. As I sit there feeling bloated and uncomfortable and regretting it I promise myself that next time this happens I will cook. I did not enjoy it and it often leads to food going to waste that I bought for the meal in the first place. I am paying twice and getting very little in return.
Not stopping to recharge the mental fuel tank is not a good idea either yet too many times this is exactly what I have done. Well at last I have learnt my lesson, I now value the act of being creative and of performing at my best, being able to take on new ideas and actively engage in all aspects of learning above pushing on regardless or being passive.
We may all have our own way of recharging the mental machinery and I have discovered what is grade A fuel for me. It is giving my mind time to wander freely and explore whatever it feels like. A sort of meditation to start with. I need a trigger to release my mind, to turn it out to pasture and free it from being task orientated. Reading fiction is a gentle enough nudge but then I need something more challenging. Something that exercises my creativity and strangely rather than draining it, it re-energises it.
It is this free thinking that invigorates me mentally and raises my game again. I find myself reading, researching ideas and concepts. I start to make notes, I have ideas, insights and questions. I actively seek others to share and explore with. I become talkative, blog and tweet.
So it is after such a period I can focus again and tackle those tasks in urgent need of my attention.
The question is am I unique in this and if not how do others re fuel?
Do learners in our schools get the opportunity to re fuel or do we expect them to push on regardless for 13 or more years?