I often advocate for reflection. Turn off the 24-hour news cycle, read a book, journal, pray. Eliminate incessant noise so you can hear your own thoughts.
Reflection helps you make sense of that which has already transpired, and imagine and prepare for what is yet to come. It’s not time consuming to reflect, but it does require deliberate acts.
Research suggests that our brains need downtime and that people have some of their most creative ideas when they’re bored. ~Sherri Graslie for All Things Considered.
I’m not sure it’s always boredom, as many creatives report having great ideas when they are engaged in rote activities. The key, ultimately, is having the mental space available for something else.
Sherri Graslie reports one way to clear the mental clutter is by putting down your smartphone. But what happens when the smartphone is out of your hands? That’s when the deliberateness I mentioned above comes into play. Will you spend the time on another device, or will you engage with the world differently?
Read or listen to Graslie’s piece here.
On Reading and Pondering Deeply.
It’s a marvelous Monday. Did you start off strong? If not, maybe it’s time to revamp your opening rituals. Successful people spend the first hour of their day in preparation and edification.
Postpone email and other non urgent tasks. There are more productive ways to begin your day than to see what other people need or want from you. Give yourself some time to gear up before launching into administrivia. The truly urgent messages will make their way to you, but the others can wait.
Practice mindfulness and gratitude. No matter where you are in time and space, there’s something you can be grateful for. What is it? Bear it in mind as you begin your day.
Eat that frog. Determine the most important task for the day and devise a clear plan for getting it done first. Although one strategy is to get all the small things done first, Mark Twain’s advice: ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’
Check in with yourself. Are you on the path to professional fulfillment? If not, think about what you need to do differently. It’s possible to be grateful about things in your life while being honest with yourself about your circumstances. Think about changes you need to make to orient yourself toward your dreams.
Check in with your colleagues. Connect with co-workers, mentors, and other contacts. Work is not simply about the tasks, but about people, too.
Read more about it at Fast Company.
Some runs are just good runs. This morning’s run definitely goes in the books as a good one. Why?
I found a new route that works well.
Because I’m in a new area, I’m mapping and remapping routes as I run. This morning I found a couple of good stretches without too many turns to memorize. Moreover, today’s route didn’t take me over too many ginormous hills nor past too many dilapidated houses.
I ran 4 miles. Again.
Although I used to run 4 miles 3-4 times a week, it was all on relatively flat land. I’m building the stamina to run 4 miles on hilly terrain. Although I’ve hit the magic number a couple of times this summer, it’s my first time this year running 4 miles twice in one week. Progress!
I ran hard.
Today’s run was not for punks. I’m no speed demon, but based on my current level of fitness, I really pushed it. I opened up my stride and maintained a nice pace for decent stretches. It felt good to work hard without feeling tired or run down. It’s refreshing to remember what athleticism feels like: VICTORY (that’s my name, by the way).
I welcomed the sun goddess.
Today, during a short breather, I said good morning to the sun (yes, out loud). One of my favorite things about running is the opportunity to be outside and connect with nature. This is especially awesome when I run from first light to sunrise and can see the sky warming as we welcome the morning. Since I’ve moved away from the Sunshine State, I’ve had to work a little harder to catch the sun’s beauty, but two of my new routes allow just that.
All in all, this morning’s run was fabulous. I’ve been eating more mindfully and resting as much as possible the past couple of days. I’m starting to feel more like myself. I’m feeling good and getting back to great. Coincidence?
No such thing. o/