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Flow State, Productivity, & Reading

  1. Jessie L Watson profile image93
    Jessie L Watsonposted 3 months ago

    Amidst my many responsibilities the major ones involve writing hubs and school work.

    From the time I wake up in the morning on days that I'm writing hubs, I'm locked into a flow state that caps off at about 4 hours. From there I'm so brain dead that to write any more would result in incoherent babble. It's taken me about a year to settle into that sweet spot of writing flow. 

    On school days, I spend roughly the same amount of time on each class assignment with the exception of math. Math will take me upwards of 5-6 hours to apprehend the material properly.

    The combination of these tasks (Mon-Fri) leave me completely bereft of any cerebral motivation. There's so much more I want to sink my teeth into like reading my stack of half-finished books, philosophical reflection, spiritual practices, intellectual discourse, playing board games with my spouse, etc.

    I've already made peace with the fact that I have to sacrifice things I love outside these interests and responsibilities. Not long ago I sold off my gaming console, left social media, and it's been at least 2 years since I've taken a mid-day nap. There seems to be trade-offs everywhere yet I can only manage to produce detailed articles and school assignments. I'm beginning to wonder if it's even possible to multi-task or if multi-tasking just decreases the quality of the products....

  2. Jeremy Gill profile image95
    Jeremy Gillposted 3 months ago

    As a student/worker/writer, I can relate. Hopefully you'll get more time once you graduate. Do your best to catch moments of respite when possible, and good luck to you.

  3. Jessie L Watson profile image93
    Jessie L Watsonposted 3 months ago

    Thanks, Jeremy. I actually wrote for about 2 hours today and gave up to re-organize my MTG cards. Yet another pastime that has since gone to the wayside. It was nice. Thought I'd mention that seeing as though you're a fan of card games as well. It's like you knew...haha

  4. Marisa Wright profile image100
    Marisa Wrightposted 3 months ago

    What do you mean by multi-tasking? The conventional definition is doing more than one task simultaneously - for instance, sewing while you're watching TV, or working on two computer screens at once.   Studies have shown that it's a very bad idea, because the brain cannot handle several tasks simultaneously - it has to switch between them, and you're losing some efficiency every time you have to make those switches. 

    If you mean that you have multiple things to do in a day - of course that's possible, but it depends on your personality.  Some people like to concentrate on one thing, stick with it to the end, and then move on to the next.   Personally, I can't do that.  I can do one thing for a few hours, but then I need to refresh myself by doing something different. 

    On another note, I'm not sure why writing Hubs is a responsibility?   It's a leisure activity.

    1. Jessie L Watson profile image93
      Jessie L Watsonposted 3 months agoin reply to this

      I've made it a responsibility. That doesn't take away the value of it, quite the opposite. It is through my Hubs that I've made positive contact with potential contractors and employers. Besides, I learn so much more deeply about the content I'm studying through writing. 

      So, as you said, in order for me to do something to meet my definition of satisfaction, I can't just diddle daddle around. I will commit hours of uninterrupted attention to it. It just takes its toll in some ways and thats just what I felt like communicating. Made me feel better to talk about it. I've noticed other people using the forum as a semi-interactive journal. Thought I might give it a go.

  5. theraggededge profile image100
    theraggededgeposted 3 months ago

    My days are full of itty-bitty busy-ness. I would love to have four hours straight to write a hub, but as I get older I find my concentration seems to fall away. I write in the mornings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I write a 1000+ word article (Edit, not for HP). Every week. In the afternoon, I do bookkeeping (sometimes) or perhaps work on a hub. Thursdays/Fridays are my opportunities to get hubs researched and written. However, throughout the day, I have to walk/feed/care for three dogs (we have six, but three of them are tinies so the garden is sufficient for them), clean, cook, shop, laundry, family stuff (two teens in college), etc.

    In my dreams, I would be working full-time on HP and my blog. I really don't know how people manage to work/study 8 hours a day and still have the energy to write and do all those other things we have to do.

    Oh... and yes, at the moment writing hubs is definitely a responsibility, an enjoyable one, but still something I am committed to. I went three years without publishing a new hub, making payout by the skin of my teeth on existing hubs. Now, it's become a lot more worthwhile, so, yes, my hubgarden must be tended big_smile

    ETA: I also paint, draw and do other crafty things. I get antsy if I have to go too long without being able to splosh some paint around.

    1. Jessie L Watson profile image93
      Jessie L Watsonposted 3 months agoin reply to this

      I'm not sure I will ever monetize my time here. Something feels icky about advertising. I write for the sake of writing.

      Also, when I get into these intense states of writing and thinking, I barely have the gumption to get up and feed myself, let alone do laundry and what-have-you. Haha.

  6. blueheron profile image97
    blueheronposted 3 months ago

    When it comes to writing--and other purely mental activities like studying--it's my belief that the brain can only process so much at one sitting. It's kind of like the stomach in that way; it can only hold so much at a time, plus it also needs to digest things.

    I think there is a neurological process behind this. For example, we all know that it is easier to remember new information if we can relate it to past experience and knowledge--to background experience. New knowledge will "stick" most effectively if it relates directly to past experience with hands-on application of similar knowledge and ideas. It works best of all if the hands-on experience has made its way into "muscle memory." This means that "brain" knowledge has become coordinated with the body's whole sensory apparatus.

    It seems to me that the "brain exhaustion" you're talking about is an indication that the brain cannot process any additional information or do any additional work (like writing) until it has some time to refresh the neurological organization to accommodate the most recent inputs. The brain needs to run the defragmenter. These brain operations can only occur (it seems to me) after the work at hand has been set aside. I think--and I'm just stating my opinion here--they will not work well if the conscious mind is immediately fully engaged in another way, such as watching a television show or movie or playing a game. What the brain needs for this processing of information is for the conscious mind to be in relative repose: a long walk or some type of work that doesn't engage the brain very much, like house cleaning. I think that much of this processing of information (running the defragmenter) occurs during sleep.

    I would suggest scheduling "downtime" into your study and writing activities. Take a break every two or three hours and go for a short walk, go to the store, clean up the dishes, or check your tires or something. With writing (and graphic design) it can really help to sleep on it. The brain can get lost and start running in unproductive circles without this downtime.

    1. Jessie L Watson profile image93
      Jessie L Watsonposted 3 months agoin reply to this

      I agree.

      Downtime is a struggle for me because I always feel like there's something more productive I could be doing. Even the "fun" stuff I end up doing I do 110%.

      During the warmer seasons I do tend to walk my dog in the middle of the day but its below zero here these days. Does more harm than good. I am able to spend 40 minutes at the gym and set aside 20 minutes for mediation each night. Interestingly, when I sleep, I dream about writing haha. Funny you mentioned "defragmenting" because that's exactly how I interpret such dreams. Neural pruning of some sort.