On organisation, focus and self care

What I've recently been doing to better my mental and physical health, is trying to keep my focus where it counts.

This morning I took some time to clean my browsing history, which is something I try to do once a month. I go through the history section and check the websites I visited. Deleting everything doesn’t help. In fact, I keep the most interesting links in case I need them in the future. These links have no place among my bookmarks: they serve as a browsing diary and reference instead.

This process helps me connecting the dots of what happened the month before. Removing what I don’t need anymore is cleansing. Also, I’m happy to report that today I haven’t yet visited a news website. Starting from a clean-slate state helps me track the bad habit of checking the sites too many times a day, which is something I’ve been trying to avoid.

Ever since Simone set up my computer to adopt the Plaintext productivity system, I’ve been very good at maintaining it. My desktop used to be tidy, yet I had a folder named To Be Moved where a sheer amount of files waited for me to put them where they belong. It never happened. The Downloads folder had a similar fate.

I’ve come to the conclusion that, despite my desire and need to be organised and tidy, actually it requires external help and great efforts on my side. It’s a constant struggle.

Focus and noise

Having recently started contracting for an Italian web agency, I worried my focus was going to go anywhere except where it was needed. Punctually, it happened. Then I read an article about how white noise can put things on track. The expensive noise cancelling headphones I bought a few months ago solved a lot of problems for me, but I needed something more. During my working hours, I listen to a playlist called White Noise Baby Sleep on Spotify, which does wonders for me.

I even looked up an app I had on my iPhone that plays sounds to help falling asleep. It’s called Oak, and there is a version for iPad too. One of the things I miss most of my life in Cambridge (and London as well) is the silence – which was disrupted only when very noisy neighbours moved next door. Milan is a loud city, and it seems as though nobody is quiet, even during night-time. These tools are keeping me sane and almost rested right now.

Self care

Back in June, I injured my knee doing something very un-sporty: picking up the laundry from the floor. Eventually I went to see a physiotherapist, who put down the accident to my inactivity. My muscle structure was non-existent, which made me more prone to injuries, various pains and postural problems – I had them all. It’s something that’s been bugging me for a while, and that the pandemic made worse. Over the past few years, I tried to do yoga and take long walks more frequently, constantly failing. My inactivity made these activities a struggle and, therefore, easier for me to give up.

After a few sessions, the knee got better but it’s clearly a process that requires consistency and effort. Self care now is taking time to do exercises for legs and arms every other day. I can feel my strenght increasing and it’s very satisfying.

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