Monday, October 15, 2012

About that Happiness Project

Happiness Project
The Happiness Project  month on finding focus at work is going...okay. Just okay. Definitely not stellar--the end of last week was a disaster. But when it works, it works! I am focused at work, am finding my flow, etc.  But I haven't gotten it to work consistently yet.

I had additional goals this week--use the Pomodoro method to take breaks and go outside for a walk or do push ups for a break. The original idea was the have prescheduled breaks to look forward to, as opposed to just taking them when I want--which is good in theory. I'm realizing though that I probably tried to take on too many mini-goals for the month and still need to work on mastering the goals I started with. And honestly, the break thing is not really what I need--I'm still struggling with finding my focus to begin with--planned interruption doesn't seem like a good fit right now.

So with that in mind, and as I'm finding that certain things becoming more important than others, I'm going to focus on these goals for the rest of the month:
  • Planning my next day the night before. Before I leave work, I take stock of the day and what I have coming up tomorrow. This is definitely helpful for getting focused immediately at work the next day, and generally helps me clear my mind of anxiety before leaving the office.
  • Getting something done by 10 am. This is absolutely key. If I get something done before then I feel accomplished and set a focused tone for the day. If I let myself get distracted after breakfast it is hard for me to refocus until after lunch. 
  • Setting an intention for the day. This was one I didn't even include originally in my list of goals for the HP, but I'm realizing just how important it is. I literally create a post-it note every morning and set out my reason for working hard that day (...because apparently just doing my job is not sufficient incentive for me. I suck). But really, I find this so helpful--when I get distracted, I can look at my post-it and remind myself why I'm working. For the most part they tend to be related to things I want to do after work, and that's okay. Whatever gets me through the day at this point--we can work on super lofty career ambitions later.
I took pictures of several different examples of these and tried embarrassingly hard to
make a collage on one of those photo collage sites. I failed. So you get only one. 
So I'm going to track those habits for the remainder of the month, with an added one:
  • Get something done by 2 pm (after lunch). I tend to eat lunch around 12:30, done by 1 pm, and I have a hard time refocusing again after that. I'm going to try to use the morning strategy again in the afternoon. 
I will also continue to use the internet blocking program. I haven't found that to be particularly motivating, but it does serve as a reminder (and makes me feel sufficiently guilty about getting off track). 

Meh. It was raining when I got home from work today and I wimped out on running outside. Coupled with the fact my apartment gym (which is my only gym currently) has a whopping total of 3 treadmills, one of which is broke right now...and yeah. The run didn't happen. I ended up doing about 40 minutes of various workout videos--a couple of pilates ones, a dumbbell one for arms, and then topped it off with some exercises of my own. So let's call it a cross-training/strength day.

I'm determined to still get in 3 runs this week though--and luckily tomorrow's 0% chance of rain is cooperating.

Two meals to share today! Lunch was pretty simple, but I remembered to take a picture:
Except it was sideways.
Mixed greens with avocado and edamame--I always try to get the toppings chunks to show up on top of the salad for photos but when I adjust one piece the other one falls through the lettuce. Oh well. With a side of leftover pizza, which was the actually filling part of the meal.

But dinner was the real star of the show today. I followed this recipe from Real Simple, though halving it, because that is a lot of food. I had made it once before and knew it was tasty. I probably could have cooked my kale a little longer to give my jaw a break, but it was really good and garnered lots of leftovers. I also roasted up some butternut squash because I needed to use it up so I threw some in there too.
Topped with pesto and toasted walnuts!

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