My beginnings and endings belong to me

The more I discover about myself, the more time I want to spend with myself. It’s my way of “loving and listening to myself,” as Sarah Blondin says in this episode of her Live Awake podcast.

The more time I want to spend with myself though, the more I realize our culture of connectivity makes doing so a challenge.

So much so I quit social media. And turned off all the notifications on my iPhone. And made a commitment to say yes more slowly (if at all) to the majority of requests (or demands) for my time and attention.

I’m deliberate with how I spend my beginnings (the moments after I wake up and the first few hours of my work day) and endings (after-work unplugging and the hour before I go to sleep). I tenaciously protect this time — it’s my time, it belongs to me.

I use it to meditate first thing each morning and clear my thoughts so I can share them with the world on this blog. I go for walks at the end of writing or working sessions and journal before bed. I observe “offline” hours throughout the week from 10 PM to 8 AM.

These efforts have definitely paid off professionally: I’m able to perform focused work at an a top-notch level for long stretches of time — with a “free brain,” minus distractions and interruptions. (Author and academic Cal Newport calls this kind of output “deep work” and wrote an excellent book about it.)

And most importantly, I get to bring the best version of myself to my relationships.  

Who would’ve thunk it: The more time you spend with yourself, the better you are to everyone else? :)