The Ache of Inaction

Too tired to care

The longer you’re in a state of inaction, the more difficult it is to get out of it.

Recenly, I’ve learned some lessons that can unfortunately only be learned with time. Over the last few months, I spent way too much sprawled out on my couch consuming too much Netflix.  I should’ve been exercising, reading books, or writing more on this blog.  I started noticing things in myself by the end of the summer both physically and mentally that gave me concern and an impetus to act.

Sitting or laying around for too long caused literal physical aches and soreness. Not only was I not hitting the gym or running outside to keep myself in good shape, my inactivity was discouraging me from even doing minimal stuff some days – and weeks. A similar challenge was affecting me mentally. Ideas that were trying to make their way out onto paper or blog were held back; books that were begging to be read were left on digital and physical bookshelves. Personal growth has been stunted by the amazing power of non-movement. You don’t realize what it can do you to emotionally until you’re snapped out of it and recognize that you’ve been missing out. Inertia is something that should never be underestimated.

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What’s Your Ideal Space to Work In?

I was rereading the chapter “When Collaboration Kills Creativity” in Quiet by Susan Cain and I wondered what readers thought their preferred work environment is. The chapter focuses on ideas like brainstorming sessions and open concept offices (don’t get me started on open concept and entertaining again) and their impact on our productivity. The fact is private space to work is beneficial to just about everybody, introverts and extroverts alike, regardless of our occupations.

Lately, I’ve been finding enjoyment to get out of the house and find a new space to read, write, etc. I oftentimes still plug in my headphones and isolate myself from the audible distractions around me, but the separation from home is quite helpful in clearing my head lately. I don’t have dishes calling my name from the kitchen or a comfy couch begging me to lay down to take a nap on. But perhaps most importantly, no TV or movies to suck away my time.

Even though I have had my own office at work for some years, for which I am grateful, there is still something about that time at the end of the day when just about everyone else has gone home and I’m finally able to spend time focusing on my tasks I’m truly productive. While I truly enjoy interacting with my coworkers, that space where I know I won’t be bothered is incredibly freeing. It’s that similar setting a coffee shop somehow provides for me by being away from home. I noticed this as well when I traveled on sabbatical last fall. Knowing you’re in a space that you won’t be intentionally interrupted gives the mind room to dive into subject matter it normally cannot properly give attention to.

Where do you go to be your most productive? Where do you do your best thinking? Share in the comments below!