30 Days to Sanity Challenge

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I am in full-blown information overload mode.

Not only do I feel like a crazy person all the time, unable to focus, and not any smarter than I was yesterday from everything I'm supposedly taking in...

...I'm having a harder and harder time in my daily life connecting to the part of myself that is capable of creating. And I think it's because in my quest to be everywhere all the time, I've un-learned how to really focus, be present and quiet my mind.

So here's what I'mma try to do. I can't stay away from the Interwebz completely--my job would probably be real upset with me if I did--but I'd like to take the next 30 days to shape up, re-focus, and clear my brain. (And I would LOVE if you could join me.)

Here are the rules (you can view the short version here): 

No more Digital Multi-tasking

The Short of It: Do one thing at a time, and one thing only. 

The Long of It: I have a bad browser tab habit. At any given time, I have AT LEAST two tabs open (Hootsuite and Gmail), and have had up to twenty or more open depending on links I've clicked on and "need" to read.

During the 30 Day Sanity Challenge, I am cutting out digital multi-tasking. This means only having one tab open at a time (unless required otherwise for work purposes, obvs), and focusing on one article, Website, Social Platform or work task at a time. No exceptions. I'm reading the whole Tweet, the whole post, the whole article before moving on to something else. 

Throughout the 30 days, I'll experiment with and recommend different focusing techniques (and report on them to you!), but rest assured, I'll use the Pomodoro technique primarily when I need to focus on output and production. It's the best tool I've used to date to get shit done.

Adopt The "Five Blog Rule" 

The Short of It: Choose no more than five blogs/websites as a daily "must read." Do not read or click through to any other links, no matter how tempting. 

The Long of It: My Google Reader is routinely stuck at over 1,000 unread posts. There is no effing way I can read them all, let alone retain all that information.

For 30 Days to Sanity, I'm choosing five blogs and/or websites to read, and cutting out the rest. I know, I know, I might miss something, and I know it'll mean cutting out a lot of my favorites. But if I'm to re-learn how to focus and to quiet my mind, then I'm going to need to "cleanse" for a minute.

You know, like a crazy fad diet where you still get to eat bacon.

(Of course, I'll keep you posted on which ones I choose. :))

Keep Work Time, Work Time

The Short of It: Give work a solid start/end time, and stick to it.

The Long of It: If you're like me, you may find that your work time and social time has tumbled drunkenly into bed together at the end of a long day.

Um, or not.

Anyway, I do find myself working at odd hours of the night, or socializing during odd times of the day. And not that any of this is bad, necessarily, but I'd like to see if I can structure my work day better to have clear cut times for work/social time/relaxation.

So for 30 days, I plan to have a strictly set work day. At my desk by 8 am, work no later than 6 pm. Or whatever. I'll let you know before things get started what I decide. 

Make Creativity and Physical Activity a Daily Practice

The Short of It: Take 1-2 hours a day to practice a skill, create something new, and move.

The Long of It: I mentioned a few weeks ago that I felt rusty. Nearly half my life was devoted to piano lessons, and when I sit down now, my fingers are sluggish and slow and contrary. I'd like to get back to practicing the piano or even learning a new instrument, and I've got to make time for running and the gym again. (I've been sporadically visiting, but nothing like I used to do). 

For the 30 Days to Sanity Challenge, I'm dedicating at least an hour a day away from the computer pursuing something creative and one hour doing something active. 

Try Three New Things

The Short of It: Try three things that either terrify you, intrigue you, or that you've been putting off.

The Long of It: I have lived in my current apartment for a year and a half, and I STILL have not put my name tag on my mailbox. Part of me is all hipster-rebellious about it now, like, "I'm not doing that shit." Except...it's kinda rude to the mailman, and to my guests, and it's stupid, because it would literally take 30 seconds to do it. 

I've also been meaning to go swing dancing at a local place for months and months, and this kind lady has offered to go with me several times, and I either forget, or don't make time, or get too busy with work stuff. 

Well no more. Three things in a month is not a terribly demanding task, and it'll open my horizons and help me get that feeling of accomplishment I rarely have these days. 

***

So! I'm starting the 30 Days to Sanity Challenge next Tuesday, May 1 and if you'd like, you're welcome to join me! I'll blog daily about how it's going, give you tips and tricks from what I'm learning, as well as provide resources as I have them. 

If you'd like to join, comment below or Tweet. I'll be happy to also share your progress to other readers, especially what you're creating in your new, carved out creativity time. :)

So whaddya say? You in? Comment below or Shoot me a Tweet to let me know you want to participate, and use hashtag #30DaystoSanity!