Mental Clarity

In the past few months, I’ve changed almost all of my remaining bad habits (or habits that needed improvement). One of these changes was more valuable than I thought it would be: running without any music or other devices. I didn’t fully realize just how much a distraction music was at first, but ditching it really opened my mind up for other things.

When I first started running two years ago I used music every time I left the house. At the time, I felt it was essential to help me stay motivated, and to keep my mind off the punishment my body wasn’t adjusted to yet. Plus, it was time I could use to listen to new music and rediscover old favorites.

In the first year, music had become a necessity. I ran with an iPod and a Nike+ kit (which tracks your progress) and had to worry about always keeping the device charged and in a place I could find it. If I couldn’t find my iPod, I wandered the house wasting time trying to find it, when I could have used that time for my run.

A couple months ago, I had an epiphany: I was going to ditch the music player and just go run. And it was (and is) truly amazing.

Now when I’m running, my mind is free from the distraction of music. I do love music, and it’s a wonderful form of entertainment. But I had become desensitized to it. I think about all kinds of things when I running now, like this post!

My example really applies to anything we do in our lives. We know what distracts us, but we continue to allow it and our work and our passions suffer. So next time you sit down to write, draw, build something, workout, or just spend time with someone: consider turning of the TV, music player or Internet.

You may just have the most productive time you ever had.



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