There’s one rule I’ve not broken since the first day I moved to my apartment in Pune precisely seven months ago. I haven’t brought my laptop in my bedroom even once. That’s not out of coincidence; instead, it is a conscious rule and a decision. Here’s why I thought of it and why it is crucial, in my opinion. It’s a simple post today, but I guess we all need simple things from time to time.
Like most people in their early twenties, I’m prone to doing more than I can manage on most days.
However, I know I’m also prone to succumbing to burnout, and days I cannot do anything at all. I am working on all of that, and I’ve taken steps to reduce the to-do lists.
Irrespective of those flaws where I am unable to draw a line or consciously prioritise my calendar or to-do lists, this one rule has helped me give myself that few hours of the day where I am not staring at a screen, making every second more productive.
Unlike college, which is slightly different because there was only one room, but yes, unlike the time I would spend hours working on something while lying down in all sorts of positions but never really resting, I now give myself at least twelve hours (from when I hit the bed to when I’m done reading after getting up) where I can physically not do anything significant with my time—in the name of work or study.
Even when I wake up in the morning, I read in my bedroom, and again, the laptop is not present. I’m a moderately self-aware person. So, I understand how attractive squeezing some tangible product out of every minute of the day seems to me.
If I see my laptop, I will turn it on. If I turn it on, I will start working on something within the next ten minutes of doing so.
So, that is how I came up with this rule, and since then, it has been a decision every day to finish whatever it is to be done outside the room I rest in, and to only sleep in it until I’m ready to get back at something again.
I know it is a trivial rule.
My intention of sharing this is two-part, though. Firstly, if you are a person like me, you need to create physical boundaries before you reach burnout. Secondly, it could be anything. You don’t have to take it literally just that anything very simple or just complex enough to help you limit yourself from unnecessary exposure.
Another thing I do is to strictly keep my phone on the desk away from the bed before sleeping. These are elementary rules, but they save me from my urge to do something.
When no one else would tell us to pause, it comes to our own volition to stop, and take a deep breath. If trivial rules help with doing so, so be it. We need to keep ourselves in check. It’s important to set boundaries between ourselves and the things we do because no one else will. If it were up to everyone else, they’d prefer you never stopped working.