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Is your life 'Out of Order'? Friday April 4, 2014

What fuels your life? What gives you energy? My list is well know to me:

• A good night's sleep with pleasant dreams
• A refreshing shower
• Breakfast at the appropriate time
• A cleansing shave
• Comfortable clothes
• Taking regular breaks (a micro-break every 45 minutes is essential)
• Light – especially Sunshine!
• Air!

And the more aesthetic energisers:

• Creative Photography
• Making Music
• Creative Writing such a poetry and blogging.

The trouble is, my life can get 'Out of Order' so easily.

I, like so many, believe in deferred gratification. It's a sign of maturity... or is it?

You see, I put off my 'rewards' to the end of the day – when I'm tired and often cranky. They are my treat for working hard. Sounds wise, doesn't it? It's OK when all goes well, but last night I ended up spending an hour sorting out technical issues before I could make any music. It got me thinking...

Deferred gratification is wise, of course, unless I was a car... or a human! It would be utter madness to put fuel in the car at the end of the journey – unless you already had a tank full. I don't – I often begin my day empty, tired, already exhausted. I need fuel first.

Many people have mentioned the metabolic power of having a good breakfast. I'm beginning to understand – it gives you fuel.

Some productivity gurus like Peter Thomson recommend getting up earlier to do some self-development. I get that, it gives them fuel. I disagree though. A good night's sleep is the prime energiser for the vehicle of the human body. We live in an age where Karl Marx would have to re-write his famous comment about religion being the opiate of the masses. Yesterday, Television was the opiate of the masses – a new religion that brought them to their seats, not their knees! Today, it's Facebook and other Social Media channels. Some young people I meet have already been Borganised – assimilated into the Collective – become a fusion of technology and flesh!

I would suggest it would be better to cut down on the TV and Internet rather than sacrifice needed sleep.

So what about getting your life in order? Well, I suggest, like me, you begin to put some of your energising activities first! Put fuel in the tank before you begin the day's journey. I don't need much – maybe 30 minutes of something creative like writing this blog – but it makes the world of difference to my day and to the results I get.

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 7:26am

Lovely post Lex Thankyou xxx yup I love to go running before the kids even wake it really helps me challenge the rest of the day ! It's all part of an individuals coping mechanism and I for one really need that something before I get going;) x have a brilliant day .

Lex McKee Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 7:40am

Thank you! I too am glad to read my own blog today as I was already in danger of violating my own good intentions (through pressure of work)! Off to put fuel in my tank now... is too easy to let good intentions slip. Happy running!

Anonymous Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 7:52am

Great blog.

Anonymous Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 7:56am

Very hard to get life in order once you have got to a certain stage tho. I go almost catatonic, and thinking is blocked.
But I do appreciate the perfect sense of your blog, Lex. It is excellent advice.

Anonymous Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 8:51am

Very wise words and a concept we all need reminding of from time to time, thanks

Lex McKee Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 9:00am

I empathise - I really do. This is why 'ritual' and 'reminders' work well for me. I constantly need reminders, but I also need rituals - and by that I means small steps that I can do 'without thinking'.

I love the 'put it in front of the door' technique! This is where people acknowledge that their thinking is not too hot first thing. So they put a reminder of what they were intending to do or take with them somewhere along their normal path so that it interrupts their daze! If I need to remember the laptop, the best place to leave it is in front of the door so that I cannot get out without tripping over it.

The same goes for the good breakfast - putting good food at the front of the fridge the night before so that it's the first physical thing I encounter. I can still choose to pass on the opportunity, but at least I haven't had to remember it because I know I will be reminded without effort on my part.

I do hope that helps...

Anonymous Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 9:17am

Hello sorry to hear your thinking is blocked I have this too, and as much effort as it is was for me the running helped unlock that block. When I was really bad I used to listen to music and flick through a picture landscape book xxx take care

Vicky Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 9:30am

Interesting blog, thanks Lex. I agree about TV/internet - I find I waste a huge amount of time online, initially it feels relaxing but quickly garners a hollow feeling inside, which if I notice quick enough I can act on - ie. switch computer off! its about noticing the things one does on automatic pilot and being prepared to alter these, even if only to pause for thought before switching on TV or reaching for that glass of wine. I try and notice what it is that is going on inside - frequently its for distraction when something else needs to be done! So that "getting one's life in order" feels a very tall order indeed. When really all that needs to happen is to notice when it starts getting out of kilter. Which it might start to do now unless I get on with my day! Thanks Lex.

Anonymous Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 3:11pm

Thanks. Ido appreciate your replies both replies, i really do. Hopefully the worst is over now , as I am starting to feel better.
I will try the running, thanks for that suggestion too.
T.G. for Moodscope!

Quacko Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 5:22pm

Lex, I just left a horrendous job yesterday- 2 and a half years of utter abuse. Going to a new job in a week. Life will improve. Winter was lonely, brutal and Law and Order reruns took up my Saturdays on below zero days. Your recipe is going to be taken well here. Going to get off computer, turn tv off when not really needing to watch a real show and make Spring- even though we had a ton of snow last night- a time to improve, grow and break depression patterns.

Lex McKee Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 6:20pm

Hi Quacko, thanks for your comments. I wonder if another path might also be of interest. I've just got involved with a discussion on LinkedIn about the value of a paper-based journal and a beloved writing instrument (or many). I think it was one of our Moodscope family that introduced me to Zentangles (and whoever you are, I love ya!) I'm finding enormous release in getting pen or especially pencil to interrelate with paper. There's a texture, a scent, muscle memory, and a flood relief for the imagination. Spring is coming (for us in the Northerm Hemisphere! Autumn treats in store for our Southern friends) - and I hope that your new role will also bring fresh zest.

Richard Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 7:00pm

Great blog, Lex. There is a rap lyric: " Television. The drug of the nation, Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation." I hear a lot of youngsters singing about social media. The clever ones are realising its downfalls. Here's my metaphor for the internet: Imagine a five year old in a library. You tell him that he can go and look at any book he wants. While he's wandering around, you give an Oxford English Dictionary to a teenager. You tell them that they can look up any word they want, and you'll show them a picture of it. If this were real life, the adult would be locked up. But - hang on. The internet is real life. Isn't it?

Lex McKee Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 7:19pm

Great metaphor Richard... I wonder what word we'd all look up?!!!

Silvia A Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 10:39pm

As for me, the way to "kill" a morning is to start it by turning the computer on. Or making calls. I can do this but after some tasks. I really enjoy the way you put things, Lex.
Because English is not my mother tongue , could you please explain to me what you mean " been Borganised" ?Thanks

Lex McKee Sat, Apr 5th 2014 @ 8:23am

Hello Silvia.... "Borganised" is a word I invented to associate human beings with some really frightening characters in "Star Trek". The Borg are a mix of living creatures and technology - in their own body - all with a view to becoming more efficient. It's a cold and heartless view of the future. So, I feel that when people become obsessed with technology for organising themselves, it's almost as if they are becoming like the Borg - hence my humorous word, "Borganised". I like my technology - but I don't want it to become my life or a part of me.

Lex McKee Sat, Apr 5th 2014 @ 8:24am

And almost to make my point, I notice that when I make a comment, Moodscope has a box that says, "Please prove you are not a robot"!!!

Silvia A Sun, Apr 6th 2014 @ 5:00am

: D

Mary Blackhurst Hill Mon, Apr 7th 2014 @ 12:11pm

SO good, Lex. Like you I take deferred gratification to ridiculous lengths: I am writing my novel on Sunday evenings at the very end of the week. How ridiculous is that????? Thank you so much for these great words. Even though this was Friday and I'm writing this Monday lunchtime I hope you read this message. I've seen some zentangle stuff too and keep meaning to explore it. I love the Moodscope Community!

Lex McKee Mon, Apr 7th 2014 @ 2:32pm

Thank you Mary for the encouragement. I'm finding I'm needing to re-read my own blog as pressurs mount... but I also find that I am consistently unproductive if I violate this advice! First things first! I should probably put a sign around my neck somedays, "Out Of Order!" until I redress that balance. I look forward to hearing the golden words of your novel get written in your golden time when you are at your best. x

Silvia A Tue, Mar 17th 2015 @ 8:13pm

Just to add to this blog some links:

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