30 Minutes at a Time

    This is for the Enneagram 1’s & 3’s, the XNTJs, the Type A’s, the planners, the “I need to be productive or I will literally die”-ers. If you’re spontaneous, laid back, and have no trouble being fully in the moment, this post is probably not for you (and also WHAT IS YOUR SECRET?!).

    Staying present is challenging for us planners, even when we’re experiencing the wonderful moments that we had planned for MONTHS. Efficiency is always top of mind (romantic, right?), so we’re typically thinking of what’s next.

    It turns out during a pandemic and anti-racism movement, we shouldn’t actually plan too far ahead because our future is even more uncertain than usual. Planning only feeds our anxiety when usually it might calm us.

    So instead of trying to talk myself Into “staying in the present moment,” which is a nice thought for meditation but far too arbitrary for busy brains like ours on a normal day, I’ve been focusing on staying in the present 30 minutes instead. Writing down everything I want to get done that day, and then literally setting a timer and doing only one thing in those 30 minutes.
    Lately it’s looked like:

    • Write in the morning for 30 minutes.
    • Breakfast and emails for 30 minutes.
    • Research how to fix the world for 30 minutes.
    • Schedule content for 30 minutes.
    • Engage on Instagram for 30 minutes.
    • Catch up on the news for 30 minutes.
    • Italian lesson for 30 minutes.
    • Exercise for 30 minutes.
    • Read for 30 minutes.

    It feels pretty rigid and un-fun when I write it out like that, but it truly allows my task-obsessed brain to focus on my to-do list (I only have 30 minutes to get this done!), while also distracting me from 1. thinking too far into the future and 2. going down a rabbit hole of researching systemic racism in my country (which evidently extends SO far beyond just police brutality).

    Do you have any self-care (read: survival) tips that have helped you stay productive or sane during 2020? Let me know in the comments!

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    June 9, 2020