Some thoughts and photos - RSS - by nikhil bhatla, -
Home Archives May 2005

« Blogging instead of Jobbing - Ethics of Stem Cell Research »
Mind Ruts
May 13, 2005, 2:11a

I often find my mind getting stuck in ruts, like a wheel-barrow taking the same path over and over again, constraining the flow of my mind with its walls. Some types of mind ruts:

1) Circular Rut - Often I think the same thought over and over again, sometimes for as long as an hour. For example, when I wake up in the morning, I'm usually thinking about work. I may remember, "Hey, I need to tell Ankit to test whether auto-update works after an overinstall of an older version, I better not forget", and I'll think about that over and over again while I'm in the shower. The worst part about it is that I won't realize that my mind is in this thought loop, and 10 minutes later I'll actually catch myself and consciously start thinking about something else, pulling out of the rut.

2) Musical Rut - This is when you have that catchy jingle stuck in your head and you don't even notice it. I've even caught myself singing a song and not even noticing until the 4th repetition of the chorus. Becca has an alarm clock that plays music to wake us up in the morning, and that's enough to get my mind singing the same song in the shower 20 minutes later.

3) Anxiety Rut - This is a classic symptom of stress. I'll worry for hours about something at work, maybe a presentation I have to make in a couple days, and expend all of my mind-time just looping inside of this anxiety-induced self-feeding nadir-stricken slide. There's no specific thought, just a vague weight suppressing my thoughts.

4) Productivity Rut - This is a positive "rut", typified by an obsession to be as productive as possible, focused no matter what the distraction. I get into this type of "rut" when I'm passionate about building something new, such as this blog, Bookshare, Wimpus, and Google Desktop Search. During these times, I find it virtually impossible to think about or listen to anything not related to the object of my obsession, as tunnel-vision surrounds.

The goal is to recognize when I'm in one of these ruts and climb out if I want, restoring periphery, perspective, and freedom to the mind.

No comments - Write 1st Comment

« Blogging instead of Jobbing - Ethics of Stem Cell Research »

Come back soon! - Like this design? Contact nikhil to setup an account.