I have crazy guilt when I don't accomplish tasks. I love writing up a todo list and checking off everything.
These days my tasks aren't trivial and require quite a bit of time. These larger projects have many facets and even though I might have accomplished many things in a working session, I still feel like I didn't get "it" done.
I hate feeling that way. Especially when I'm objectively kicking ass and still feeling like a lazy bum afterword. Something had to change.
Go small or go home
Before quarantine, I ran 4-6 days a week on the boardwalk in my town. I love running. Beyond that, I wasn't doing much. I'd stop in the middle of my run and do 3 rounds of lunges, push-ups, and tricep dips. 20 reps each for each exercise.
Once COVID hit I couldn't run anymore or go to the gym. I love running because I like to feel the sun and wind on my face as I move. Working out in my apartment was pretty much the opposite of that. I was struggling to get motivated to work out.
I decided I couldn't feel bad about myself if I did at least a little bit of exercise every day. I started with 15-minute workouts.
I kept my previous routine mid-run and added a few more exercises. I decided to start increasing my reps as well. It felt like since I only had to do a 15-minute workout I should try to get after it. My main focus was push-ups.
I saw results very quickly. I went from 20 reps in 3 sets to 30 reps. Then to 40. Now, I'm doing another set and I'm at 50 push-ups.
Some skinny runner guy struggling to do 60 pushups total is now knocking out 200. The numbers are there and I've noticed a lot of physical changes as well. It feels good.
I always felt good after my workout sessions but other than that I wasn't feeling too spectacular.
I wondered if I could translate my approach in exercise to my other hobbies.
Going small in practice
Fitness was the start but I wanted to bring that gradual joy to my other endeavors.
I'm currently working on two web projects and studying Spanish. I'd also like to add two more activities soon: meditation and piano.
For all three of my existing activities, I assign 1 hour. No more, no less.
The results are still coming in but I feel pretty good. The progress is still there and I'm giving myself more time to relax after. I'm also excited to jump in the next time I sit down to study or code versus feeling burnt out.
I feel good about the fact that I did 3 things for 3 hours that I'm under no obligation to do. I might trim down the web work to 45 minutes per project. We'll see how I feel in the coming weeks.