Too tired to work, too energized to sleep: Mismatched energy levels

As I’m working on being more effective, being able to get things done, my thought for today is about different energy levels, different gears, different speeds in which we can work.
It seems like the way I’ve usually been thinking is, you know, trying to get into a good mindset, trying to get into the right state.
And maybe something I’ve been missing is that there really isn’t just one good state, there are many.
And depending on the moment, we can help to shift ourselves into the best mindset to meet that moment.
And this seems to open up a whole rainbow of possibilities, so that we can appreciate different moments and interact with different moments and different parts of life and the universe in different ways.
And it seems to make room for a lot of flexibility.
So when I think about, well, what kind of different mental states? Well, that’s so broad that I’m gonna have to start with simply this idea of speeds, or the metaphor of gears, as in having different gears for an engine to run at different speeds, and being able to shift into these different speeds of operation.
Now, of course, we could have any number of different speeds, but as I’m just getting started I think a good way to look at it would be three gears.
So we have the standard, regular operating mode, and then there’s a high gear, or a fast gear, where I go into greater intensity.
So the high gear would be for states of greater focus, intensity, greater effort, greater energy.
That’s the high gear: full-on.
And the idea with this gear is that I am giving it my all, I am completely diving in to life, whether it’s work or play.
For work, it is the most intense concentration and concerted effort, and for play it is diving into life and enjoying it to the full.
So that’s like dialling it up, “kick it up a notch”, the expression goes, dial it up to a higher gear, take it to a higher speed.
And then the opposite side of that, I can take things down to a slow gear, to a low level.
And this would be I mainly think of relaxing in the evening.
This would be as I’m getting ready for sleep, I do not want to be in the high, intense gear.
I want to be pulling everything down to a very mellow, chill, relaxed, slow, unhurried, unworried level.
And this is all about rest, recovery, shutting things down, and also about a sense of leaving space, a sense of having space be open, so that, rather than with the high intensity, it’s like I’m fully plugged into life, I’m being very active; at the low level, it’s more passive, receptive, and appreciating life in a very inactive kind of way.
So when I think about these three possible speeds, the fast/medium/slow, it seems like thinking about things this way can fix a few problems that seem to be pretty common.
Because a lot of discomfort and dissatisfied and just unfulfilling and just sort of off, those kind of off moments, some of those seem to be due to being in the wrong gear for the time.
And if you just think of any mismatch, any of the possible mismatches of the gears, then you can picture how being in the wrong gear can kind of throw things off.
So if we divide everything to being this sort of fast/medium/slow, you have three possible states things can be in, and three possible states that you can be in, and so there are nine possible combinations of your mindset with the mindset that is being called for.
And so three of those would be the ideal, as in the situation calls for intensity; you’re bringing intensity It calls for relaxation; you’re bringing relaxation.
And the other six would be states where there’s a mismatch.
Now, the most obvious, of course, is the mismatch of the high and low.
So that’s the easiest one to to see.
Imagine a situation where it is late in the evening and you have to be up early, and so you also want to get a good night’s sleep, so it should be time to go to sleep.
Well, if you’re in the high-intensity mode, it’s very difficult to sleep.
And this is a problem that’s, you know, it’s all too familiar to me.
Where that feeling of when you’re working a job that was not satisfying, and you only have those few hours at home in the evening to do anything you actually care about, that’s a sad, sad way to spend life.
But you spend the whole day at the job, then you have dinner, and you have, oh, a short time where you can, okay, now I can really live, and now I can do everything that I care about.
And then oh, now look, it’s almost midnight, I have to be up early tomorrow to do this again, and now I have to bring things down again.
So there’s clearly a mismatch.
And this is something I’m still working on now, because, you know, my favourite way to work is to really get on a roll, and I really get into it and enjoy it. […]

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