In this week’s post, a reintroduction and testimony about dodging difficulty and productivity.
by Jason Martinez
So, yes, the motivational column previously known as “Motivational Mondays” is back. This time the column will be known as “In the Moment Monday.” “Why the name change?” you may ask. Well, in the time that I have been away, I have learned the importance of truly living in a moment. It is a micro focus on ideas rather than the macro of general “motivation” that I previously wrote about. Yes, there will be motivational material, but instead of exploring the dark corners of only my psyche, we will explore ways to not only live in the moment, but to overcome any obstacles in a productive way.
For this first post back, let’s take a look at how procrastination can set a person back with goals, specifically when it involves someone doing something that the don’t want to do. What is a common subject of avoidance? Schoolwork. Or, even work-work. Anything that has to do with responsibility I would say is fair game to be avoided with menial, time-killing behaviors.
For me, I have a weakness for digital media, specifically in the form of Netflix and other streaming services. I’m sure that it is because there is a certain type of hypnotic quality of watching or observing passively, where our brains can voluntarily take a backseat and defer doing more work. However, that may be just a brain like mine, one that is prone to cycles of productivity and creative bursts and is not a workhorse.
I do know many who have the aforementioned workhorse brain that allows them to find activities like writing or reading after a long day of work as relaxing. For me, creativity is a rewarding but tiring endeavor. When I have a full day of consulting, I feel that my brain is firing on all cylinders for as long as possible. Sometimes not all day, depending on how many appointments I have, but there is an extended period of engagement that my brain will eventually register and feel the drain at the end of the day. But that end of the day drain is so rewarding.
But if there is a reward to that behavior, then why do I negate the benefits of the drain? I think that in my case, and maybe with others, we are so pre-programmed from years of actual media programming options that we don’t know how to live in the moment and relax. There is a constant party of voices and noise that seems to fill my head, usually filler noises, half-completed song verses, movie or television quotes, all of which can derail me at any given moment for an undetermined amount of time during the day.
I’m practicing ways to stop what I’m doing and take a few minutes to recap what has happened, what is happening, and what is planned to happen. But the emphasis is on what is happening. The other two are mere bookends that just provide context and really should not be fixated upon, lest you fall into the trap of compare and despair of your past and future. Sitting in a relatively quiet space, a living room, a library, or even the car sitting idle without the engine on can all provide good spaces to just focus on the now.
As difficult as it may be to drown out the noises of the day’s events, friends, drama, classes, work, or just anything that you allow to take up valuable real estate in your brain, rest assured that you can do it. It takes practice and repetition to at least feel a moment of relaxation and focus that is not drenched in the day’s concerns.