Compression thinking

There’s a real art to thinking purely in the present.

It’s amazing how much our thoughts focus either on events that have happened in the past or on something that’s going to happen in the future, when the only place we can really affect change is right now in this instant.

Even as I type this I’m thinking about the things I have to do before going to bed (finish this article, send it live, watch Dexter, make lunch for tomorrow, read some Neal Stephenson), but the only thing I can really do right now is finish this article, so why is my pesky mind thinking about the other things?


This type of thinking has a large effect when we think about one task or project in its entirety, like that To Do list at work which takes up half the whiteboard, doing all the Christmas shopping this Thursday night, or catching the train from New Delhi to Moscow.

It’s incredible how our brains want to solve the entire problem all at once, and in the next instant becomes daunted by its enormity, instead of living only in the present and saying “what single thing can I do right now to make progress?”, and focusing all energy on that.

If anyone has some tips I’d love to hear them, and until then I’m going to try and focus on finishing this post.

Oh, it’s done… cool. I guess I’ll wash my bowl.

image: mkev



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