Every morning before I get started with the day, I do a short morning review (facilitated by Panda Planner). One part is the gratitude section – just a quick three things I’m grateful for at the moment.
I noticed that I’ve written one thing more often than anything else in the past few weeks: earplugs.
Yep. I only recently began using them in the past couple months. And they are amazing.
Without realizing it, I gravitated toward earplugs over listening to music while I work. I realized I’m most productive and focused working in silence.
I remember back in the day when I used to listen to trap of all things while I worked. I can’t imagine why I thought that would be helpful in getting my tasks done lol. I remember feeling like I’m going in all directions, my eyes flickering back and forth on my screen, on my textbook trying to grasp concentration while my brain struggles to manage sound input in my earholes and visible input in my eyeballs. Poor brain.
I treasure the silence so much, or at least a muffled background. I realized how intentional I have to be in creating that space for my mind to work, flow, and focus. It took too many years to see that focus isn’t a “let’s see what happens” kind of thing.
I realized that this transfers to other parts of my life, this whole creating space deal. Because I noticed when I didn’t feel like I had time for myself, time to just be and write and do the little things that matter to me, I had a hard time feeling grounded and mindful.
In those moments of feeling all over the place, I would feel depressed, unproductive, lost. And usually, in that place, I start looking for ways to be alone and just be. And that usually looks like a drive to the beach.
It’s not wrong to feel those things – it’s just an aspect of the human experience. But noticing the effects of not creating that space for myself ingrained in me the importance of… creating that space haha. Very profound, I know.
I think there are two types of creating space. One is the vacuum and the other is the glass wall. They actually sound the same… but let me explain haha.
The vacuum is a space we create just for ourselves to be by ourselves. For me, that looks like going through my morning routine of reading, writing, and meditating (sometimes). I make this space holy – this is where I get rest and pull energy from, grounding myself and creating a space for me to create, learn, and be. It could look like anything for anyone, but I realized that’s what works for me.
The second type of space, the glass wall, is where the earplugs come in. It’s when I’m out in the world, usually at a cafe, but still want to distance myself so I can be productive and mindful about what I’m working on. I’m way more flexible in this state because there is so much stimuli but I am still completely intentional about keeping behind a glass wall when there are others around. Some may think this is too extra haha but I find that if I don’t create this space, I don’t do what I intended to do.
I feel like so many of us go throughout the day, me included, without realizing the impact of our environments, and even more, the power of our intent. Intent is everything. It decides the who, what, when, where, why, and how of all of our decisions. And if I don’t protect my time and space, I just go with the flow only to look back and realize I’ve listened to everything and everyone except me. That just doesn’t fly anymore.
I have no excuses, I have no justifications. It’s my life, my responsibility, my purpose.