How many times in the past 24 hours have you thought about something you need to do while trying to be present with someone close to you? Do you carry the weight of unfinished projects to bed at night? Do you practice conversations in your mind that you need to have with a colleague while you drive?
Wasting time and mental calories on the same stuff only add stress.
Such habits have become normalized and a cruel form of white noise in our busy lives. The last thing a fish would ever notice would be water. (Ralph Linton)
If something's on our minds, most often it's because we want it to be different. Until the change occurs or we feel progress, it will hang there as an open loop in our minds.
An ambient angst pervades our society—there’s a sense that somehow there’s probably something we should be doing that we’re not, which creates a tension for which there is no resolution and from which there is no rest. (David Allen)
Our first instinct is often a futile attempt to compartmentalize our day and leave work thoughts at work. When the thoughts come up, we push them away and in doing so, we create bigger loops.
There are no edges on knowledge work. Productivity and information peace of mind are complementary.
It's entirely possible to be effectively doing and happily being.