New years resolutions

Too many windowsI can’t put my finger on exactly when this began, but my hyperactive brain currently works in such a way that when I’m sitting in front of the computer and think of something that I need to do, I have to start it straight away regardless of whatever else I’m doing. Say I’m in the middle of answering e-mails and it occurs to me to check to see whether my Internet banking payment has gone through, I have to immediately open a browser and open the bank’s Web site. Then I remember that I have to ask a colleague about something, and I open a chat window, and so on, and so forth in this fashion until I have about 50 things open at once. (And then I complain that my computer is too slow or doesn’t have enough memory…)

My excuse is that if I don’t then I’m going to forget, but the unfortunate side effect is that these tasks in my head all cry out for attention, which makes me wonder sometimes whether this is what schizophrenia feels like. It has also all but killed my attention span, meaning every time I have to wait for a Web page to load, or a program to open, I switch over to the next window and start working on something else instead.

I’m sure this isn’t healthy.

For one thing, when I’m at home with no urgent chores or other pressing agenda I’ll almost always end up playing videogames because that’s the first thing that comes to mind to do. It might even be revealing that I tend to prefer genres that involve quests and achievements – i.e. role playing, real-time strategy, platform and adventure games. Do this! Go there! Fetch that! It’s an endless stream of tasks that make me feel… occupied.

Then I remember that it’s been several weeks since I last published a post on any of my blogs, and I realise something that is endemic to my behavioural situation: I rarely finish anything because I’m constantly being distracted by something else. I never find the time to sit down with an idea long enough to nurture it past conception, but then find myself being constantly frustrated that my labour bears no fruit. I’m not just talking about tasks, but also relationships as well – most of my relationships are conducted online – I only make time for people who are on Facebook. God forbid you should try and meet me for a coffee or something, ‘coz there could be 300 other people whose tweets, status posts or IMs I’m missing out on while you’re selfishly consuming my time.

So here’s the deal. I realise it’s kinda late for resolutions, but for the rest of this year I resolve to:

  • Make more time for people. I don’t mean being more personable, but actually taking the effort to connect with people, both the ones who have actually been actively trying to reach out to me, as well as those who I’ve lost contact with as a result of my aggressive negligence.
  • Go deeper. I’m gonna stop wondering why my half-assed ideas aren’t getting anywhere, and actually do something about it. One key change I need to make is to stop being my own biggest critic, and spend less time trying to be awesome. So what if things end up failing or resulting in a dead end?
  • Break free of limitations. Over the last few months we went through a bit of a lean period financially. Don’t get the wrong idea though; this was a “rich man’s problem” which deserves no pity, but I digress. Instead of focusing on what I stand to lose, I must make a conscious effort to take bigger risks – to think of it not as loss but sacrifice, even if it is nothing more than fuel for the great hamster wheel that life can be sometimes.

There may be more, but that’s a start.