My issue:

I struggle a lot with being mindful when I'm passionate about something. When I'm passionate about something, nothing else exists. Complete tunnel vision. All of my other responsibilities are neglected. I can't think about anything else. I'm not present, I'm not enjoying my own company – everything is dedicated to the finished goal.

The past 3 days have been like that for me. I made this video:

I'm really happy with it. It was a ton of work. Friday evening, I spend a few hours after work talking to random people and going on this mini-journey into what it means to "belong". Saturday and Sunday have been spent doing nothing but editing. Nonstop. Waking up, editing, brushing my teeth, editing, eating late meals, editing, editing, editing, sleeping way too late.

It's really satisfying to create a short film, and there's nothing else I'm more passionate about, which is why I make myself work so hard. And on one hand, that's good. But on the other hand, there's many problems with this. I make myself miserable when I get this obsessed. I'm completely out of the present moment. I don't make good decisions – I sleep too late, eat too little, and take terrible care of myself and my responsibilities. It's also not sustainable. I burn out. Then don't work on filmmaking for a while.

It's time to find a better way.

The solution:

This doesn't just apply to when I'm obsessed with projects – this is a framework I will apply for the rest of my life – although I aim to be obsessed with something everyday, it makes life more exciting.

  1. Write down a plan. What do you need to get done today? Not just the project you're obsessed about, write down all of your responsibilities. Come up with a timeline and split the work up into chunks. Give yourself a day more than you think it will reasonably take. Come up with actionable steps, space it out – schedule times.
  2. When you're about to start working on a project, set a 30 minute timer. For those 30 minutes, do nothing but work on the project. Slow down, be here. Sit with yourself and all of the urges to do other things. Remember you don't have to be entertained all of the time. Stick to the plan. Intention->action. Do whatever it takes to finish the 30 minute chunk. Flow. Don't beat yourself up when you get distracted, it's all a part of here, there's no divisions, it's all here. Meet yourself where you're at.
  3. After those 30 minutes, take a 5 minute break to do something else. Sit with yourself or listen to a song or listen to a podcast. Get up and walk. Reflect on your plan and make any necessary changes.
  4. Rinse and repeat. Whenever your mind wanders or creates conflicts, sit with yourself. There's nowhere to rush to, it's always just here. Don't take yourself too seriously, explore new ways of looking at your projects.

Extra! A night routine:

  1. Eat dinner - no screens, be with family and friends. You don't have to be entertained all of the time. Done by 8pm at the latest.
  2. Bathroom routine.
  3. Do a night meditation and stretching
  4. Podcast/book.
  5. Eyes shut to sleep by 915. Sleep by 930

Mind Straw #4: July Nine 2023 (another one!)