Working While Sick

A student asked me recently how to get back into practicing after a long break, and I suggested he try a technique I use for when I’m sick and have deadlines to meet - in fact, I’ve been pretty sick over these past few days and used this technique to keep up with the Mind of a Trevor. When you’re shivering with a fever in a Best Western in Dothan AL, unable to focus on anything for more than a few minutes before hallucinated pink unicorns enter your peripheral, a little compassionate discipline goes a long way.

Set a timer for however long you feel like you can concentrate - a short interval, say 10 minutes. Work on what you need to during that time, and when the timer goes off, take a break for the same amount of time. Crazy simple, effective and infuriatingly obvious, as most crazy simple and effective things are. Working and resting for 10 minute intervals will help you stay focused for short amounts of time - realistically all you’re likely capable of at first - and you’re not tempted to “power through” when concentration lapses, which can actually be damaging if you haven't yet built the foundation of a strong work ethic or, like I mentioned, are hallucinating brightly colored mythical creatures.

In general, I'm working on being kind to myself becoming my new default. It's not something that comes naturally, but I'm getting there, slowly but surely.