Joined: 21 Mar 2009 Posts: 10 Location: Oregon, United States
Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:38 pm Post subject: two new systems
I have a couple of new Everyday Systems I've been trying out. While rudimentary, they have been going well for me for a while now, so I thought I'd share them here in case others might find them helpful:
1. Problem: Sleep debt (chronic sleep deprivation)
While I have seen various written estimates, it is generally accepted that a large portion of Americans (I suspect it is similar in other developed countries) are not routinely getting enough sleep. This can negatively impact ones health and quality of life in many ways. A traditional work ethic often encourages borrowing from our recuperative resources, such as sleep, in order to devote more time to being "productive" (although once the cognitive effects of sleep debt impact performance, "more is better" must have its limits in terms of time devoted to an activity). In my own case, I spent several years, probably starting in high school and on through my early twenties, in various states of chronic sleep deprivation, before I realized it had become a problem.
Using "habit branding", in the spirit of Urban Ranger, to reverse the perception of purposeful sleeping from (perhaps) one of laziness to being "tough" or "manly" -- and also hopefully achieving "comic pragmatism". Most sources I have read state that while individual sleep needs vary greatly, most adults need 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night. The system is simple: Find out how much sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed, then be vigilant in ensuring that you get it. Consider setting an alarm to remind you when to start "winding down" and beginning whatever ritual help you get ready to sleep: switch off electronic devices with screens, brush teeth, read a book in bed, etc.
2. Problem: Unfocused
Short attention span, scattered thoughts/focus, emotionally reactive, etc.
System: "Club Med"
I wanted to try establishing a regular meditation practice after reading Dan Harris' book, "10% Happier...". In short, there is mounting scientific evidence of the widespread benefits of meditation. The system is to meditate for 14 minutes every day (borrowing from the "schedulistic insignificance" principle of Shovelglove, and its value for habit reinforcement via a manageable temporal footprint). Try to do it at the same time each day, first thing in the morning if feasible (to "set the tone" for the day). But in any case, just fit it in.
1. I have been pretty consistent about following these systems for a few months now, although I have not been tracking them formally (as with HabitCal). I feel I have benefited from them both.
2. I have been trying to do them every day. I don't know if an "N day, S day" format would be beneficial or not.
3. Thanks to Reinhard for developing and selflessly sharing so much information on his Everyday Systems and the thought/methodology behind them.
Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 5789 Location: Cambridge, MA
Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:30 pm Post subject:
Thanks for these and sorry it's taken me so long to pop by here!
I too, enjoyed Dan Harris's book, but alas, haven't yet bee able to build a lasting practice around meditation.
Definitely room for everyday systems like methods to help here.... love the 14 minutes.
Sleep is a funny one for me. Usually I sleep great. Books and audiobooks are a great wind down. And I'm up like a bolt at the same time every morning, raring for shovelglove. But I've had two several month periods of extreme work-stress induced insomnia in my life that have defeated every systematic (and medical) attempt to deal with them (the ultimate solution always turned out to be get a new job).
Joined: 02 Apr 2008 Posts: 1216 Location: South Dakota
Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:54 pm Post subject:
I came to this post in search of productivity systems. And after reading it I checked the Dan Harris book 10% Happier... out of the library.
I enjoyed the book. It was more Buddhist than I expected which didn't bother me but didn't help me much either.
I will say that because of this book and the research cited (and other research I've since looked at elsewhere) I've taken up meditation. Since meditation apparently has a physiological explanation, I mostly consider it a mental health practice akin to taking a walk on work breaks.
In fact, I try to combine the two.
Sometimes, though, when I want meditation to have more oomph, I call it centering prayer which I believe is the Christian application of the practice. I actually mowed a labyrinth (ok, a maze but I'm pretending it's a labyrinth) in the backyard to connect it to an ancient and future practice in a way that is meaningful to me.
It's only been about a week, too soon to be a habit, but I do feel more productive. This could be because I've substituted meditation/centering prayer for mindless social media perusal with my morning coffee. Facebook at 6am is just a bad idea.
Incidentally, I love the name Club Med. It's like calling a bald guy Curly.
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