Sohail Virani • 2023-07-31
Fun & Flow
Hello readers! Happy Monday and welcome back to Vitality Digest. In today’s issue, we’ll talk about the two crucial productivity catalysts; a powerful time management technique from the 80s; seek inspiration from one of the most popular pop bands and much more.
Let’s get started.
The concept of productivity is multi-faceted, involving many contributing factors that can lead to a more fulfilled life. But most of us have been guilty of falling into the ‘Motivation Trap’.
While motivation serves as the critical trigger for getting you started in enhancing your life, it comes in peaks and valleys. There are euphoric moments where we feel like we can conquer the world but at other times, we just want to give up and settle.
To overcome this obstacle, we can look at times in our lives when we were entirely focused on tasks and required no motivation to keep going. Video games or watching a film in a theatre are great examples. They were all fun and required some level of immersion for maximum pleasure.
That is what we can try to instill in our tedious tasks and everyday life. Fun & Flow. Together they can bolster productivity without the constant need for motivation or self-control.
This is something Ali Abdaal (one of our favourite YouTubers and the world’s most-followed productivity expert talks about in his new book Feel Good Productivity that's coming out later this year). You can learn more about it here. (#notsponsored)
The Pomodoro Technique: A Classic.
This method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s involved using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to divide tasks into mini 25-minute intervals or Pomodoros with each interval being separated by a 5-minute break and a larger 20-30 minute break after the completion of 3-4 intervals.
Today students and workers worldwide employ this technique to help them finish tasks efficiently. But why is it so effective?
Two words: Attention Span. On average our ability to focus on an engaging task ranges from 15 to 20 minutes after which distraction takes over. Although this estimate varies depending on the task and age, it’s still helpful to acknowledge.
The Pomodoro method aims to solve this issue by deliberately adding breaks after every 25 minutes. This way you can regain your attention and start the focus cycle again. Once implemented you can then experiment with the duration of your Pomodoro cycle and adjust it to your liking for better adaptability.
We’re huge fans of this method and it compelled us to start making our own Pomodoro timers caller Pebble.
Relaxation through Music.
Music can have a profound impact on changing our mood. It can evoke various emotions from excitement to calmness depending on the tempo of the music.
Why not utilize it for both focus and relaxation?
Binaural beats that have alpha range frequencies between 8-12 hertz in particular can create a relaxed and focused state of mind.
Here's a playlist we found on Spotify to get you started: 10hz Binaural Beats (Alpha Waves)
See if it makes a difference the next time you've had a long day.
Dan Reynolds [Lead Vocalist: Imagine Dragons]
Michael Tran/Getty Images
Dan Reynolds, a singer, songwriter, activist and philanthropist is the lead vocalist of the phenomenal pop band Imagine Dragons (also one of our favourites!).
If you've been to one of their concerts or have seen their performance videos. You can tell how bigger than life he is on stage, and how his enthusiasm commands your attention.
What's probably even more impressive is that he'd suffered from depression and anxiety and is fighting two autoimmune disorders: Ankylosing Spondylitis and Ulcerative colitis. Both are capable of causing serious pain and undermining the quality of life.
Fortunately, he’s been able to manage the condition very well, enabling him to perform for his audience and put on a great show. This goes to say that every life is worth living and taking care of your health is a pre-requisitive to truly unleash your creative potential.
Also, check out this video of his workout routine for some more inspiration.
I coulda gave up then but Then again I couldn’t have ’cause I’ve travelled all this way for something
The Goldilocks Zone
Our Earth resides in the habitual zone also known as Goldilocks where the atmospheric temperature is just right for water to remain liquid and life to flourish.
Similarly, for us to enter the flow state of mind and achieve our goals, we’ll need to accept challenges that fall in the Goldilocks Zone. These tasks are at optimal difficulty level that keeps you engaged until it’s finished.
If the tasks are too easy, you’ll be bored before you know it and abandon the task or worse, procrastinate. If it’s too difficult, then you may lose all hope to continue or won’t start it in the first place.
The challenges must be difficult in a way that seems achievable with a considerable amount of effort.
James Clear (Author of Atomic Habits) has an article that discusses this concept in greater detail. You can check it out here.
That’s it for this week’s issue. If you liked what you read, please share it with your fellow friends and family.
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Stay vital and have a great week.