I generally preach clearing the field of vision of physical as well as digital drainers. Much of that I recently explored here.
A specimen of visual stimuli tends to impact each individual uniquely. You have a better sense than anyone of what causes your mind to scatter.
In my case, the distracting stimuli encompasses much of the following:
- Unnecessary apparatus/tools/electronics/papers
- Non-stimulating art
- Sight of food
- Unnecessary tool bars, status bars, notifications
Yet some objects I don’t clear from the field of vision:
- Dental floss
- Stack of index cards
- Coffee cup, even once empty
After a lifetime of flossing, I still exert severe discipline to exercise this 1-2 minute daily habit. As such, I tend to keep the batch of dental floss either always visible on the table surface, or within my pocket to serve as a constant reminder.
And who knows? Perhaps the visual cue has come to symbolize self-discipline at a deeper level.
Concerning the index cards …
I cater to analog tools to as great of an extent as possible. This involves categorized sections of index cards for note capturing, idea brainstorming, project priorities, draft compositions, lessons, inspirations, mantras, etc.
And I tend to keep the entire stack in view, not merely the 1-2 cards I might be actively involved in processing. It’s a matter of association.
I know that within that stack lies mighty powerful content: list of beliefs, the integral directives to exercise daily, a toolkit of acquired principles and handy techniques, lessons from role models.
The mere sight of that card stack thus serves a multi-reminder:
- That I do indeed have powerful tools at my disposal, and that these demand nothing but inner reflection. Many of my guiding principles immediately materialize without as much as a glance at the content.
- That I have priorities. And much of the overwhelming remainder bears little consequence. And that my notion of priorities will completely misalign with that of mostly everyone else, and that’s perfectly natural.
- Not to take mostly anything too seriously.
- That I prefer analog tools for aesthetic, mechanical and cognitive function. And that no whirlpool of tech innovation and worldwide liquidity need perturb my simple nature.
And the coffee cup? It serves another symbolic role.
I know that a little bit of coffee enables physical and cognitive benefit. Significantly more than that, and not only do those benefits atrophy, but the compound renders greater harm.
I know that I must consume it gradually, in quantities appropriate for my physique, rationing the intake over time, careful to maintain a counterbalanced level of hydration.
It reminds me that I have the discipline to extract pleasure and benefit from just the bare minimum; to remain grounded; that I need not plunge into the fatal, never-ending pursuit for more.
I find these object associations highly individual, discernible through self-reflection and meta-cognition.
Questions, comments? Connect.