In This Episode…

A suggestion about an exercise to stop your eyes from becoming tired triggered the first part of today’s post. It is relevant and I eventually steer it back onto the topic of productivity. But then I reflect a little on how I feel today after sharing my (lack of) progress yesterday.

Episode Show Notes…

Eyesight Protection

I’ve been in lots of environments where I’ve needed eye protection. During my engineering apprenticeship I wore goggles when operating a lathe or any of the other machinery I had to learn how to use in the workshop.

When I learnt how to weld I wore heavy face visors with blacked out looking glass to protect from the glare of the weld.

On board ships when working with some chemicals I wore protective face visors and of course we all had the joy of wearing a gas mask as part of our Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defence procedures.

Outside of the work environment I’ve worn sunglasses for obvious reasons, wore protective goggles when playing sport, and had to wear clear glasses sat in the dentist’s chair.

So protecting my eyes is not something new to me.

I can remember once looking up into the periscope mast on my submarine when we changed one over during an emergency maintenance period. Unfortunately a small bit of something – metal or dirt fell into my eye as I looked up when I wasn’t wearing protective eyewear.

It was bad enough to send me to sickbay. I had my eye bathed multiple times in a soothing solution and then had an eye patch strapped on and sent off with the instructions to keep it on for at least 3 days.

We were sailing the following day and as a periscope watchkeeper, it wasn’t good to be down by one eye – in fact I couldn’t keep watches on the periscope at all.

I could deal with that discomfort of burdening the rest of my watch. What was a challenge was turning up on the dockside the following day looking like one eyed jack at the same time as the bus with half the ship’s company.

Submariners have a great sense of humour but they can be quite cruel. Fortunately I had developed a tough skin by then.

So what’s my point about protecting my eyes?

Well two things really.

First of all I am now wearing blue blocking glasses when working at my computer screen. My partner found them on the internet and decided to get me a pair.

And they work a treat.

When I remember to put them on (I haven’t worn glasses since I got my eyes lasered 6 years ago) they really do make a difference. My eyes are less tired and I am able to work at my computer more effectively for longer.

The other point is a tip I was give by Pete Clark of 21Whispers fame who called it his 20/20/20 tip.

Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It will help ease any strain on the eyes.

This is a great tip and the reason for the earlier submarine reference was a recommendation we were given when returning from an extended time at sea. Because there is so little space on a submarine, there aren’t many places where you can see farther than 20 feet.

So your eyes get adjusted to focusing on things in the near distance.

We were advised not to drive for a while after disembarking so our eyes could adjust to the longer fields of vision we would now encounter once ashore.

Reflecting On Yesterday’s Post

I’ve been reflecting on yesterday’s post after my admission of spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.

The secret to me solving the challenges and getting on to a path of productivity is the way I deal with them.

This morning I woke up fired up about the possibilities open to me on how to solve this.

I am convinced it is a combination of these things:

  1. Identity
  2. Skills and Habits
  3. Discipline
  4. Energy

I think the last one might be more important that its position in the list indicates.

I chatted to a friend today about my current schedule and he pointed out I probably need to spend less time working.

That is very true.

It is a problem I see many people struggle with. And now the challenge is to solve it for myself.

I do take comfort from one thing though.

I think I am pushing myself harder than I’ve done for a long time.

And that means I am at the limit of my current capabilities. I am pushing the edge of the envelope.

This is where growth will happen because I feel the discomfort of being at my current limit trying to reach goals and targets currently beyond it.

I’ve just got to keep on pushing and keep on adapting.

I’ve Started Tracking My Time Again

Just like I said I would yesterday, I have started tracking my time again.

I won’t review the results until I get the full data for the day, but already it is starting to reveal interesting trends and behaviours…. Not all of them good.

Watch this space.

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