Here is my monthly review for March. If you want to read February’s, check it out here.
1. What went well this month?
- Deep Work. I got really into Deep Work in March and started to shift some of my habits towards that. Now when I want to get something done at work, I turn off my email, turn off my internet, and get to work. I set a time frame — typically 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and just focus on my work during that period. It makes me tremendously productive. I have a goal of two hours of deep work a day which, in combination with the number of hours I typically spend in a meeting, is enough to meet my work obligations. It also frees me from this sense of I should be working all the time. If I’m working (outside of a meeting), my internet is off and I’m focused until it’s done.
- Nourishment. One of the lessons I learned in our MBSR class was how to intentionally nourish yourself. For a week, we were told to pay attention to any activity that we found nourishing. In a month too full of obligations (see below), it was nice to have this practice to come back to. I would schedule whole days asking myself what felt nourishing right now. And often it was something very simple and accessible — meditation, herbal team, a walk.
- Giving up news. Very much in line with the above, I have started to give up instant news. Social media news (mainly twitter) and intensive checking of other news. Now, I have a few sources I check a few times a day, but it’s less obsessive than it used to be.
2. What didn’t go so well this month?
- Obligations. I had standing commitments this month for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. And five weekends in a row were spent with my parents or my in-laws. I felt very much over scheduled. In April, I move back to my only standing obligation being twice a week workouts with my lifting buddy, so I’m looking forward to that.
3. What did I work on last month and how did it go?
- Focus. With MBSR & Deep Work, this has gone pretty well.
- Self-compassion. This has also gone well, though I have moved towards calling this nourishment. I feel more in tune with my mental state and more aware of what sort of care it needs at any given moment.
4. What am I working toward?
- You know, I have been sitting here and thinking about this for a while, but I’m not really sure. So maybe I’ll take April off from proactive work and just let myself be a bit.