Sound Byte: Discipline

Lately I have been thinking a lot about discipline. I used to pride myself on my ability to work long hours in the library and “sacrifice” my social life for my homework. Although this unrealistic work-life balance resulted in the neglect of my social self, my ability to engage without distractions has diminished as I have gotten older. I have been in this school game for a long time, but recently I have been unable to focus, concentrate, and really be present with the task at hand. I’m stimulated by my project and love the work that I am reading, but find myself texting friends, making snacks, and justifying cleaning instead of just doing the work I set out to do. I procrastinate by doing other “productive work” like emails, laundry, and dishes — all truly important things that are essential to adulting, but still…I need to get my fucking work done. And if I love it what is the problem? Am I burnt out? (But I am in my 20s…what does that even mean?) Do I really love it? (But I do, I swear) Maybe it’s the environment? (But what environment is ideal?) Like an athlete, you need to practice discipline. I have recently been trying to set time deadlines and writing realistic to-do lists. I have restricted times for social media and emails. On the weekend I try to limit emails, especially if it is work related. We have unrealistic expectations about availability. I try to give myself some buffer time and make sure that in my down time I am active (I try to limit watching TV or scrolling on Tumblr). Because most of my life is mediated by a screen, I find long walks and chats with family and friends very productive. I stopped convincing myself that I cannot be social. I try to make commitments to spend real time with people, so that I change my orientation to work and don’t feel like I’m always working when in fact I am not. I also listen to music. I love putting on my favourite pair of heels and dancing in my apartment. I love laying on my couch and letting the sonic landscape of Kendrick Lamar’s revolutionary album take up space. Below are some things I have been listening to…

Stefflon Don, 16 Shots
Kendrick Lamar, HUMBLE.
Nelly, Country Grammar
Kendrick Lamar, The Heart Part 4
GRM Daily, Berna


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