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[0:00] A mental hygiene practice right
dental hygiene that we practice every day it’s a little bit weird that we have dental hygiene that we practice every day but you know most people probably couldn’t name one mental hygiene practice every day and I’m just going to throw out the suggestion that maybe your brain is more important than your teeth.
At the dentist can come fight me on that one but but I think one practice that’s just it’s healthy for all humans in general.
So just keep some kind of a like a journal or gratitude log or something I answer one of the habits for me that’s been.
Get the biggest benefit to me this year has been Duchess I have a journal and every single morning three things I’m grateful for that can be personal they can be professional.
[0:43] Welcome to helium podcast I am Christian Ogilve Hendren here with Matt Hotze on today’s episode we chat with author Matthew Kent.
[0:51] He’s heavily focused on productivity and on Personal Finance he’s written a book actually called personal finance that works for you,
he publishes regularly in blog format the math you can. Calm and he often publishes on medium.com as well.
I know where conversation left me with lots of food for thought on my own habits and how I treat my own brains face.
Yeah for me technology is both a hero and a villain and between an email social media and all other forms of communication it’s a constant stream.
Leaves me feeling overwhelmed and without a day-to-day strategy or how to combat technology in my life so I was really happy to have Matthew on the show so we could.
Walk through some of these strategies with him I’m glad we got to talk to Matthew and walk through one article of his in particular about specific strategies for mental hygiene around technology to your point man.
Is very focused person who is fascinated by a plaid intentionality and he’s distill some very solid advice on how people can adapt and manage their relationship to all the noise that we are inundated with,
in our lives plenty of it in.
Academia but really any life that is hectic and relies on using your brain and also just how we can not add to this noise with technology and obsessive Behavior,
around it I was particularly interested in the parts of it where we think we’re solving a problem and maybe adding to it.
[2:20] And I’m one thing we didn’t talk about before recording the Central Christian but I just thought about is that was super relevant for audience was the idea of
the time that you need to have your brain sort of not be doing anything versus the time that it’s super engaged and what happens with technology is that we we
remaining gauge constantly no matter what we’re doing and really some of the great minds throughout history have learned that the most important thing is to actually disengage your mind intentionally,
overtime so he talks a little bit about some of the strategies around that which were really cool and I think very relevant for people that are
trying to engage your minds purposefully in the practice of science and engineering.
And the other thing that I wanted to mention is that if you listen to the end of the episode,
you jump over to the show notes right now he’s actually very kindly curated a list of his most healing and relevant pieces,
from his medium.com polishing for our audience so if you check it out on the show notes page she’s actually put all of the pieces that he thinks are most relevant to our folks in one place which is very kind.
So without further delay let’s get into our conversation with Matthew Kent.
[3:38] Or welcoming to the show today Matthew Kent’s who is an author and entrepreneur welcome Matthew.
[3:45] Hey thanks for having me I am grateful to have this conversation with you today yes we are to speaking of grateful we really have.
Welcome to hear for selfish reasons because we need your therapy and coaching really want to get better at navigating this world that we are in with all of these different.
Piano fragmented parts of it and competing things for the tracks of our mind and
out of our own way and you have some very practical and extremely Salient advice that we can’t wait to take your brain about and then you know we’ll record it for our listeners to.
[4:26] That sounds good to me.
[4:29] Totally selfish this is like the most selfish podcast we’ve done so far episode twice I think we’re seeing problem for me and so basically you were an article on medium what should I do
got to be so a practical
which is I think the title of the article is something like technology is destroying you the five ways that technology is destroying you,
be up there beside the five ways technology is destroying you and what to do about it.
Yeah that’s the key part right is there that they approached actually doing something about it so quiet I said several key,
points I think it was five of them in terms of the problems that technology creates for them for for us for everybody and so I was thinking we can just kind of walk through some of those problems in and just have a discussion about it.
[5:21] Yeah and you know I think the one disclaimer I put at the front as you know listen I when it comes to technology it’s not about you know are you for it are you against it I mean it’s here to stay where we’re not putting the genie back in the bottle,
ultimately I mean technology has improved our lives in in countless ways in,
you know we wouldn’t even be able to have and distribute this conversation without you know many of the technologies that are.
I also have some of that the negative aspects that that I do want to talk about what it is because everything is a double-edged sword and you know there’s always positives and negatives that we should be at least a little bit concerned of.
Having all these tools at our disposal that that no one else has ever had in human history and you know how our brains work and how our brains are are interacting,
are being affected by you know what we see around us and.
Just one of the things that I was reading a book I was just called reclaiming conversation by Sherry Turkel,
and I one of the things that was mentioning is listen to it used to be the case that.
Our people were able to sit with themselves sit with their own thoughts their own ideas and turn inward into their imagination.
You know when encountering boredom will now when we encounter boredom I mean what do we do when we pull out of screen.
I mean you just watch it around you know the supermarket wherever if somebody is forced to stand in the line for more than 4 seconds the screens coming out.
[6:49] And so we were able to be engage wherever we are and so we don’t have to turn inward and so there’s this sense in which.
You know that there is that robots are whereas before you were you know thinking about things Loosely making connections and now you just have this never-ending stream of stimuli to respond to.
Which is he know not something that anybody’s ever ever had to deal with.
And you know I think one of even though the problems at your house you know it’s not just being able to focus,
you’re one of the things that brought up all the time is okay well what about your working memory and you know what about your ability to adjust to focusing on deep deep ass but even something,
I like your own emotional well-being.
At one of the things that some of the preliminary studies are noticing is that children today are suffering with very high levels of anxiety.
And I’m sure it’s the adults to just because you know you were gone.
[7:44] Social media and you see things that are like you know so and so is having a baby and somebody else got a promotion.
And you know you’re looking at all your academic friends and you like to go you know they got this grant that I didn’t get and you know they got their paper finished and.
You know here I am finding feeling like I can’t hold everything all together and because social media setup to to show the highlights and only the highlights.
You know there’s a few people are sharing their struggles but but overall it’s like you’re not seeing the people who didn’t get the grant.
Write your do not seen the people who are trying to have a baby and and they’re not successful.
You’re seeing all the highlights and then you’re comparing that to your up and down life and you’re thinking well man I must be missing something here because you know everybody else has got everything together,
and I you know here I am and I can just barely you know stay afloat.
[8:37] Right so it’s not just the drinking from the firehose problem of endless,
onslaught of stimulus but it’s I heard something this week that was you know sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it’s AstroTurf it’s right it’s fake,
yeah it’s at I think those are all really good points in,
you know what you said that resonates with me and I think with the people that are in our audiences that this is a job category that
it could not be more important to protect the ability of your mind space to operate to create to make new connections to invent things that haven’t been in the world before and so that’s a that’s a
existential threat to your productivity if your mind is just being pillaged by by this misuse,
I don’t know what you do I don’t know if I’m dating myself but that’s always fine with me that,
did you ever see that show The Greatest American Hero I did not.
[9:42] Okay well it was excellent and Maya in my childhood mind but this guy stumbles upon this magicsuit that’s like a Superman suit and it lets him fly,
but he just finds it and and is really bad at so he has a really hard time flying in the heat
the only way he can land it by crashing so it’s like he has his amazing you to let him soar you know early but then
he doesn’t know how to handle it and I think this generation is just exactly dealing with that were the first ones to have,
technology at our fingertips and just as you say it’s all excellent but it is not always working for us sometimes we we haven’t figured it out weird Crash Landing a lot you know so I wonder if you could walk us through maybe your five
he weighs or people just kind of self diagnose what are the categories that I’m injuring myself with my you know.
[10:36] Deficient knowledge of how to use these Technologies Brightside you know I think one thing that I would look at is your ability to learn new things and and to be creative so if you feel kind of like your stock,
you’re unoriginal like you’re not just kind of getting your mind around the things that you need to get your mind around that’s a pretty good indication that you might be sort of chronically distracted.
You know part of the reason for that is it that the way that our minds work and the way that we learn things in the way that even creativity happens is there’s this natural sort of given take where we get into a very distraction-free,
very focused mindset and and then we we try to work through something.
[11:18] But then it’s actually during the time when we we we rest and take a break from that.
We’re at the connections get made those new neural Pathways happen and it’s almost like the brain is is operating on on two different levels,
and so you know neuroscientist but my talk about this as you know Focus mode versus diffuse mode the psychologist a no condom in the Nobel Prize winner in his book Thinking Fast and Slow he called these system 1 and system 2.
And we kind of we operate off of this you know back and forth between the two it’s almost like you know a game of ping-pong wear as long as the balls going back and forth you know that’s.
That’s the state that we should be in.
And what happens sometimes with our technology is that it provides distraction into our time of focus.
So that our brain isn’t really able to go deep.
[12:09] And so you know whether that’s notifications on your phone whether that’s you know trying to multitask so you’re checking email while you’re also supposed to be writing a paper.
[12:18] Or whatever it is you know you’re you’re not focusing like you should be.
Then you’re also not resting like you should be either because then it comes time for your mind to unwind to relax.
And instead you kind of have it in in reactive mode where you have to see no maybe feed on your screen and whether it’s your email or whether it’s Twitter or whatever it is you’re your mind’s not free to wander but your attention is captured and divided.
[12:43] And that’s extremely problematic because you’re supposed to have this back and forth between very focused and then mind at ease.
And you’re not getting that in either space you’re getting you know distracted in one sense and reactive in the other space,
and so what we really need is you know to have that space where we are going to shut the door to the office we are going to let you know.
Put the phone on silent we are just going to look at what we’re doing and only what we’re doing.
[13:14] Let me have that space where when we’re alone we’re not immediately pulling out something to react to
but we’re letting your mind wander and you know we’re letting those connections just would have happen organically and letting our mind do the work that it’s capable of doing I mean our mind is the human brain is it the most sophisticated,
object in the universe and I mean it can do some incredible stuff if we just get out of the way and let it.
[13:39] What are the things that I want to go back to what you mention is multitask and thing that caught my eye in the article was talking about this idea.
[13:49] That multitasking is addicted to us and that you in that there’s this there’s this negative I mean the way that I Envision it is is a negative feedback loop right of multitasking,
dead people can find themselves into and I thought that that was I thought there was a fascinating
idea that people would conviction tenuate convince themselves that this was the right way to go right you know I it’s I think the Allure of multitasking is that it helps you feel busy.
[14:19] And I think we all want to feel busy because feeling busy somehow we equate that with being productive.
But just because your hands aren’t idle doesn’t mean you know that you’re accomplishing something important.
And so it’s hard to lose that that sense of like okay well here’s the the output of my work right now but here’s what it could be.
Spider brains are very bad at imagining what what is not there you know it’s yours what could be if I were to just you know do these things one after the other.
And so in some cases you know we get caught up with you we have like 30 different tabs open,
and so we’re trying to bounce back and forth between like answering our email and doing this other thing and even sometimes it’s more subtle though sometimes it’s just mixing two steps together that probably should be separated,
that’s a good example of this is if you’re writing.
I know you probably shouldn’t be editing as your writing and I think most of us try to do that if I go I got to go back and fix this you should probably just be getting the next idea out because that’s the way that your brain is,
operating right now you can come back later and edit it but what happens if you stop yourself and you start to edit what you’ve written.
Your brain switches back and forth between a task that it was doing which was coming up with the next idea and then doing a new task which is now fixing what was there before.
[15:35] And the problem with that is there’s a cognitive load associated with with switching and so you’re slowing yourself down without realizing that you’re being slower.
I put your feeling really good because you’re like all well with this amount even have to go back and edit this like I’m saving so much time and you’re probably becoming less effective less productive.
[15:55] But at the same time like you mentioned that negative feedback loop you’re feeling better about your own ability to manage your time and to get things done,
and so it’s a sort of like perverse incentive that’s happening what you’re getting is dopamine hit your brains feeling really good but at the same time it’s not being as effective as it should be.
That’s amazingly resident for me also I’m I’m going to try to,
cut myself down from saying that word a hundred times because you’re such a Sensei for me right now but
I think in addition sometimes people may not want the feeling of dizziness so you’re describing me in every way what the hell my days have an offense and I would say that for me often the feedback loop is,
really people pleasing it make somebody else happy if I answer their email right away that make somebody else get what they need to get done and so for people that you know in their job want to keep up good relationships and
serve other people well it can be really easy to put
what that other person would like ahead of what would be right for your focus so I think even if you’re not getting the feedback loop of who I feel really busy and you can still get into it because you’re,
meeting other people’s.
[17:15] Go right and you know I think with email that’s it that’s a really good point and you email sort of like the original social media and it’s probably the one that is most relevant for for an academic setting but when you think about what your email really is,
your email is a list of other people’s agenda for your time.
[17:31] Right which which is fine like you mentioned there might be good reason for other people to want to have claims on your time and there might be you know incentive that you have to want to then you know meet them and and and their demands especially if it’s like your boss it’s like yeah you better reply to that email.
But at the same time you know there’s this sense of.
What technology does is it makes us reactive and so you have all these forces that are working together to make us react to things.
When really I mean what are brains should be doing and where were the most useful and we’re going to have the most fulfilling and satisfying career is if we can figure out a way to most of the time have our brains be
proactive and productive,
so we’re not reacting to everything in the world is throwing to us and just responding but that were contributing things to the conversation that we’re pushing for new insights that we’re doing real work that we can be proud of.
And so yes there’s a sense in which you know there’s always got to be this this digital communication but at the same time it’s like we just need to be careful.
Because we need to make sure we have enough battery setup that we know that we are for the most part making progress and then everybody else can kind of that’s a secondary thing.
[18:46] I now want to shift a little bit to it toward approaches here but better I don’t want to miss I don’t want to miss and we’ve touched on some of the approaches already but,
I want to get into those because that’s the most I think the most practical thing that people can take away from this but I want to touch on another problem which I think actually relates to Academia the problem of.
[19:07] Empathy going right now because.
Everything is just a digital I mean even if it’s a picture of a person decision digital object in some ways and that this idea that.
You’re almost like the humanizing people cuz you’re just interactive a screen so I wonder if we could talk a little bit about that because I think it’s I think.
[19:30] Academics have to deal with this right that’s another one where they got the early studies that focus on children but I’m sure it’s happening with adults as well of this this declining empathy as we go on,
and when you think about communication and Andy know that the digital Technologies been great for communication because the speed of life,
has always been regulated by the speed of communication and so emails faster than anything that’s ever come before it and it has the advantage of it doesn’t have to be why you can send a message and you know they get it on their own time.
What sort of at each level that you add something more personal back in it becomes more possible to have real empathy.
And I think they’re the real Tipping Point is the point at which you have eye contact.
[20:16] And you know I mean obviously you know we into it people’s emotions from looking at their eyes and you know their eyebrows can kind of tell you the expression.
Little children do this all the time you’ll see them looking into your eye and may even if you’re a stranger that you to walk in and what kind of look at you and and size you up and you can like look right into your eyes and actually so.
What are the things that psychologists have been studying for a long time I know I think it’s actually a novelist who coined this term it’s it’s the meeting Eyes Of Love.
And it’s this idea that critical to a child’s well-being and especially an infant a baby would be that the eye contact at it it makes with its mother.
And so we’ve had this idea that we’ve known about for a while that like hey eye contact is pretty important and so I think for all of us you know,
one of the books that I read I think I mentioned already it was by the the the MIT Professor Sherry turkle and it was called reclaiming conversation that was part of this idea is listen we’re we’re so much part communication now is digital.
We need to make sure that sometimes we put the technology completely away,
connect to people face-to-face look them dead in the eye and remember that they’re a real human being remember that you know that there’s there’s emotions that they have to everything that we say and I.
[21:34] This aspect of communication of of personal communication is always been part of what it means to be human and so I think in terms of quality of life.
You know it is all communication goes digital everyone’s quality of life is going to take a serious head and we all need to be thinking about like me and how much I contact if I had today so I think that’s a.
If there’s a way to track that metric I would bet that would correlate pretty highly with people’s overall happiness and satisfaction.
[22:03] I actually have to follow up now cuz you just said that tracking metrics so am I science meter went on and so Christine Christine does a lot of work.
[22:13] Working and I do a little bit of it working with on team science Concepts and we’re always thinking about how do you track the effectiveness of how a team is working together.
I bet if you could measure teams and compare the amount of eye contact that might be correlated between different teams that might be correlated with affect effectiveness of the T.
I totally want to do that I’m so far just laughs like in for me how many laughs there are in a meeting is a metric and I kind of keep a little nerd telehit because but it’s a different measure eye contact,
is is an a wonderful I don’t know rehumanize are right,
that’s right yeah and so humor and I wonder if those two things I contacted and laughter are even correlating I mean they don’t Nestle need to be you know you can have a hysterical phone conversation with somebody but commuting interesting thing you know because.
It is easier to know when somebody’s telling a joke if you’re looking at them directly in the eye or at least you know studying some what they’re there their facial features so you can kind of see the little bit of tongue and cheek,
you’re bigger early but but maybe also sometimes literally that they have going for them.
[23:24] Well I mean you’ve run through really smoothly kind of the
it has a hit that our creativity in our Focus takes in the way that our anxiety goes up in the air and then he goes down one of the thing from your article that I would love to get your,
For listeners of course his contentment adjust to the idea that contentment goes down and just maybe you can speak to that a little bit.
[23:55] Yeah I think there’s really two primary ways and it might be more why this is happening and I think one of them is just a comparison thing I think I hit on that a little bit earlier where you know you can look and see somebody else’s highlights.
But at the same time you’re stuck with your own up and down reality,
and the other thing is advertising now advertising is nothing new what’s it’s been around forever and you know the advertisers have wanted to get in front of your eyeballs and deliver your message that.
[24:23] Causes an emotional change within you that Tino going to drive up a purchasing decision because ultimately
all purchasing decisions are emotional list that’s how we make those decisions and then we rationalize them with all this is you know these are the reasons why these are the features of this car why I bought it,
but really it’s just cuz you know the commercial made it look cool,
and I’m like all of us when we buy a nighttime let’s face it you’re like oh iPhone is better than Android because acting really what you’re saying is a shiny and then you know you came back and you,
you came back and you Justified it to yourself.
[24:54] What are one of the things that’s happening that is the advertisers know that if they can make us desire something that like we feel our life is no not complete without it then they can drive us to action,
and one of the things with the technology in the rise of prickly like social media is that there are companies like Google and Facebook.
Basically own like all of our data and said it happens when you sign up you you you agree that like yeah you guys can use all this data and sell it to people and do whatever you want with it,
it’s about literally is Facebook’s you know that’s their business model is they say hey we have a bunch of users and we have their data.
So if you want to advertise to somebody,
you know now what you say you’re going to advertise to ex many people but we can say you’re going to advertise 2x many people who have this interests with visited this page who are this age of this gender because we have all their data.
And so if you ever had that experience where you went out and you thought about buying something and she kind of had it open on your browser Tab and then you went to Facebook and they’re advertising it to you it’s because they know what you’re doing.
And so you have this personalized advertisement where now they can make you discontent because they know what you want because they know who you are.
[26:09] Recipe for you know maybe you’re like a 30 year old female baseball fan and you see a lot of commercials for Viagra and you like well you know it’s not really,
I don’t really care too much you know now that there’s not that problem that advertises Housing Works is like we’re just not going to show it to that demographic we’re going to show it to the end of 60 year old men that we thought we were showing it to.
[26:29] Right will the translation that comes to my mind from this in terms of a distraction,
you know kind of taking your eyes off the prize of what your priorities are because what is the onslaught coming across you as you know your name gets out there because you do some reviews for journals and then you’re getting tons of,
invitations to special issues and you’re getting tons of weight you know invitation to certain conferences and you’re seeing.
LinkedIn how glossy somebody else’s website are that you know right and there are a million different.
Indications of everybody else’s success because we need to build that up so I’m feeling like you’re always behind I guess is it is a big.
Danger not only from the technology but just the culture of Academia so just kind of putting the blinders on and being intentional seems like a good takeaway.
[27:22] Yeah putting the blinders on his definitely key and you know remind yourself because
you know it’s easy to do that you look at some other professors website you like man it’s sleeker than mine and okay but houseleek your website is doesn’t really determine how good the content is in some people don’t even notice that stuff you know you’re noticing it because you’re comparing.
You know somebody else who visits your website isn’t comparing they’re just visiting your website.
[27:44] And then yes it is that that one you know aspect of perspective and there’s also the aspect of like listen sometimes you just got to put this stuff away and say.
You know I’m going to go and you know just be happy for what I have I think that for academics and really for all people in general.
When practice is just a healthy practice I’ll call.
A mental hygiene practice dental hygiene that we practice every day it’s a little bit weird that we have dental hygiene that we practice every day but,
most people probably couldn’t name one mental hygiene practice every day in it I’m just going to throw out the suggestion that maybe your brain is more important than your teeth.
Did the dentist can come fight me on that one but it’s healthy for all humans in general.
[28:29] So just keep some kind of a like a journal or gratitude log or something I answer one of the habits for me that’s been.
The biggest benefit to me this year has been Duchess I have a journal and every single morning three things I’m grateful for that can be personal they can be professional,
doesn’t matter just has to be three and it just can’t be whatever I said yesterday I can repeat because I I do want to make sure that I’m like very grateful for my wife and I’m going to indicate that but just can’t be whatever I said yesterday,
and it’s really simple and you know probably takes just as long as brushing your teeth.
But it’s one of these things that that’s so critical to your own well-being and your own ability to say hey I could be discontent I could go out and start playing the comparison game or I can be grateful for what I have and and Lujan.
I think that’s related to you know one of the approaches that you should guess the article which is Amina maybe a mini Tech freespace but it’s a tech free space where you’re using physical pen and paper yes who.
You’re you notes crate at least it a space where there’s no phone involved in there’s not any being or a reminders or notifications so just that alone it’s probably worse or do we no matter what your writing,
absolutely I think and I do think I mentioned this in the article I think one good practice for everybody and especially you know akademiks is to get out a physical notebook
it can be expensive it can be cheap doesn’t matter in the morning can you wake up a little bit before you need to you can be just 5 or 10 minutes.
And it’ll go through like a mansion with the Gratitude just three things that you’re grateful for and then no more than three things.
[30:12] I’m really I would even say maybe one is best for this that you really want to accomplish that day.
So you know we all have a bunch of things that we could be doing we all have a bunch of things that we want to be doing.
What one thing could you do to win the day if I got this done today is a win.
I’m in that helps you start out the day from a more proactive space and right so you don’t have the email up in front of you you know you’re not typing this on the computer there’s no chance that some notification goes off in that you’re distracted,
it’s just you turning inward.
[30:48] You know analyzing I believe I think it was Charles duhigg did the author habit get a quote that I heard one time that I really like he said that.
[30:56] The most successful people tend to be,
those that are the best at identifying their deepest most important desires and so I think that’s a practice that we should all have is like what really are like my most important desires like what’s the thing that I need to be doing today.
And so I think you know.
The time in the morning you know having time that you turn inward having time that you in a sort of set the foundation of gratitude and then set the direction.
With what your priority is I think it’d be a really powerful practice for a lot of people.
One of your approaches that I thought was really related to Academia because actually it’s from a well to me it’s from a book that
inspired this podcast was it is a book called Deep work I don’t know if you reference it,
yeah I think your reference in these this article it’s by Khalid Newport who’s actually an academic yes Georgetown and this book is.
[31:52] Really great I can’t recommend it highly enough for anybody and much less or much more for academics because he is an academic and he’s also,
able to tap into somebody’s on entrepreneurial mindset,
pieces in in that book I believe and I hope I’m not totally wrong about this but there he talks about,
are these people that intentionally a scientist who intentionally isolated themselves isolated and I’m like you know,
hundreds of years ago there wasn’t the social media that wasn’t the technology that’s just.
[32:30] Getting into your head constantly they went out to like you know some house in the countryside and spent intentional time alone right and so I wanted I wanted to,
Dimension that that comes from that book and it’s kind of us inspiration for this podcast but also
you know it really caught my eye when I read the article about this idea of intentional Solitude right Andino is solitude
you know all the great Geniuses throughout history seem to have intuited this notion that like Solitude is actually good for you and you know you mentioned that the academics in the scientist and also
you know one group that’s discovered this is is the writers in the novel isn’t so that the fiction author Neil Gaiman friends since
you know when he says if you struggle with writer’s block he’s like why just got to go make myself bored and so I’m going to go get a cabin in the woods and just forget everything I was reading the article recently where JK Rowling credits
she she lives you know way out in the woods during part of her childhood and she credits to this with being a very fertile time for her imagination like listen to wasn’t a lot to do and we weren’t like out watching TV we weren’t we knew you just Kinda hot.
Play games and you kind of hard to imagine things.
[33:43] And so she comes up with this very imaginative world that’s making her millions and millions of dollars a year and he know a large part of that comes from her ability to you know when she encountered solitude,
2 instead of you know turning from it and running from it and saying although I might struggle with boredom from time to time here you know embracing it and saying will hate what can this be used for,
and I’ll let you know another quote that I love it it comes from the book I think I’ve already reference. Reclaiming conversation by Sherry turkle she says and I hope I get this right she says.
Stop boredom can be recognized as your imagination calling you.
[34:19] And you know I think that word imagination you know that it’s obviously important for people who are writing fiction but I think it’s important to let you know for the academics for everybody because you know it’s important to remember that.
The real work that we do regardless of what we’re doing is fundamentally a creative or you know that nobody we’re not in school anymore where there’s.
Correct answer sitting on did you know teacher’s desk somewhere and we’re going to be judged by our Conformity to that answer,
if we’re going to do real work there needs to be some real creativity happened we’re going to have to exercise that that imagination component of our brain are to be able to bring something worthwhile to the table.
[34:59] Yeah I find that attention in my world because I I have kind of an artistic side that,
Bethesda know I almost went to art school I did and I went to engineering school but I feel like that part of my brain knows how to seek out,
this space for a flow State you know to have all the things and I when I get a nut.
The kind of vibe I I tried to draw on that for,
for writing in for my academic work but it just it is very easy for the,
short-term demands to take over their claim on your time so what I liked in your article was just kind of these practical ways of said yes your short-term demands are going to be barking at your door so
how do you set aside this time to allow your brain to get into that place that you recognized as a generative state.
[36:02] Right until you know I I think we talked about the the morning.
I think starting out right at one thing yet to book and it is I think it’s important to end each day right and to end each day without,
you know all of your you’re sort of cares and concerns without looking to some external stimulus but really have that unwinding time so like I mentioned before,
our brains are going to be more most productive.
When they’re allowed to focus deeply and then really unwind and relax and so both parts of those are necessary you need that deep focus which is distraction free and then you need that relaxing component,
and the that should happen throughout the day during the day but the biggest time that it happens is you know during sleep
and so I think you know all of us who want to be effective and productive people we need to protect that time towards the end of the day maybe let’s say the last hour before you go to bed,
I really just had that be a time where you know maybe you’re connecting with people,
not through technology not through a screen but you know anybody no spouse or kids or anything like that you know you’re letting your mind unwind you know maybe you can read some section
you know if there’s anything that’s bothering you this is another good time to journal you can sort of jot it down to get it you know we’ll call it off your mind and to help you go to sleep better.
And so you know that way I I think if you’re beginning your day intentionally.
[37:25] You know instead of in a reactive mode but no proactive mode I know you’re listening what you’re grateful for your figuring out what your priority is and if you can end the day in such a way that your.
You’re entering into that rest and leading into that sleep in your getting enough sleep and I think that both of those at this powerful 1-2 punch.
[37:47] Yeah and I think for the the folks who are may be addicted to checking off to do.
List you can just say that this is you know putting your brain into this restful state is.
[38:02] Part of your brain maintenance is dental hygiene step you’re doing the right thing it’s it’s actually productive it’s a subject of an article that I just
I can reply publish it today if I scheduled it today to publish later on medium.com I was about to destroy things by Tyler at something to the effect of.
Here’s the most productive thing that you can do with 10 minutes alone.
[38:26] And am I saying was like we do nothing like that’s a thing that you can do as you can and you know doesn’t have to initially mean that you like why there,
you know just you know totally still up in a walking is one of the things that many people there are just going to lie there do nothing you know walking is actually one of the things that many people have found that like during this time of mental rest you know,
so even you know if you’re if you’re off you’re working on a paper or something you’re locked in your office you know you’re very stationary and so it’s become natural complement to like okay when it’s time to let your mind unwind H by moving to,
Ann. You know just people from all sorts of disciplines over the years have have reported the benefits of just you know going on a walk.
The walk has the advantage of you know it’s not too difficult your brain can kind of do it on autopilot and you know there’s interesting things that you might see on the walk.
[39:19] But there’s nothing so demanding that it’s going to capture your attention the way that like a screen wood.
[39:25] And so you can kind of sort of half focus on the things that are round you maybe get some inspiration from them your brain can kind of relax unwind maybe sort of happy thinking about what you were working on.
This is the way that you know you can make new Connections in one of the analogies that I’ve heard used is that this is focus mode,
is kind of like a like a bowling alley with bumpers on it.
And so when you’re focusing there’s not a lot of room that your mind has to operate because and you know this is been has been all kinds of Dino psychology experiments on this work you know you can do different things and people won’t notice because they’re the dialed into something.
[40:05] It’s like you can you know if I think it was a good one experiment where people would not notice you switched out the.
The clerk at the store in like they think they been down to get something in your focusing on something else and then come back up as a different person and in like you wouldn’t even noticed it when your dialed in your mind doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to
recognize things that are going around on around you where as we will call you know system one or two fuse mode,
this is this time where your minds at rest where because you’re not locked in like that your minds more like a pinball machine worth
your thoughts can kind of bounced around and this is where you can make unexpected connections
and then this is where you can you know Forge New neural Pathways and this is where the the the actual Learning Happens is you have this time to you know if you’re doing nothing
you know your brain is still kind of working even though it doesn’t seem like it’s working it seems like it’s being lazy because it’s not being taxed and not focus mode.
This is actually a very productive time and a time that’s necessary to make the the focus time better.
[41:13] The whole thing that you are doing in and putting intentionality around this is just sort of listing as a task,
stop with the tasks that the anti task so well
I really feel like we’ve learned so much from you and I would I would love to maybe have you back on another time to talk about the book that you’ve written,
in line with that would you like to just explain if our audience would like to know more about you or they can find you and other things that might be interested in that you have to offer
yeah sure so my blog is the Matthew kent.com that
t h e m a t t h e w k e n t. Calm and actually created a a page just for the listeners of your podcast it Savvy Matthew kent.com
helium and so I got several things there at one of them is a free.
PDF ebook of a productivity I that I wrote called the ultimate daily checklist 13 steps to winning the day.
[42:26] And then there’s different place that we can follow me on on social media there’s links for that and then at the bottom I included,
I think it’s about four or five recent articles that I’ve written that I think you might be interested in you know I write on a variety of topics productivity is one of them you know General Health and well-being,
personal finance and you mention my book and I thank you for that that was actually the,
the book that I wrote my first book published it on Amazon Kindle and it’s called personal finance that works for you.
[42:56] And I’m just really you know I mean money is one of these critically important topics we don’t talk about nothing it took me a long time to get my head around it and I wanted to share what I learned with other people so.
It was actually the fruit though of some of the strategies.
I’ve been describing I’ll so you know it’s before I wrote that that I was learning all of these things that we’ve been talking today about productivity and so you know that the fact that I was able to write that book and get it published this year
I want to been possible without the things that were talking about today.
[43:28] Thank you Matthew for joining us we really appreciate it really appreciate you setting up a special page for our audience I think that’s really cool you’re the first one to do that so thank you so much for,
for being such a great Castle guys thanks for having me on I really am truly grateful I think it was a great conversation and I really appreciate what you guys are doing and I wish you guys the best of luck.
[43:48] Thanks everybody for listening to episode 17 of helium podcast.
Today we talked about technology and your life and your creative life and your professional life and how have those Technologies are always going to be there.
[44:03] It means that we have to think about ways that we can actively battle against those.
Technology technological intrusions which means.
You need to set aside time during your day to do mental hygiene I love the concept of mental hygiene for Matthew Kent.
It’s awesome I think he’s going to have some dentist after him but he’ll probably have some brain scientist that are cheering him on to encourage people to do that kind of thing on a daily basis.
If you want the notes from this week’s episode you can go to www.com helium. Episode 17.
You can also go to Matthew Kent special page that he set up for this episode.
[44:45] The Matthew kent.com helium where he’s put some articles that are of special interest to possibly to this audience so we really appreciate Matthew setting up that page coming on the show really talking about his.
Awesome ideas for how we can combat technology in our life.
[45:04] Another thing to note about this episode is that the music was provided by Michael Blake he can be found at Tim Blake music.com.
[45:13] In the show is produced and edited by me Matt hotze and Christine Ogilvy Hedren have a wonderful day,
we really appreciate all of our listeners please remember to hit that subscribe button on whatever podcast platform you using we really appreciate your support,
take care and we’ll see you in the next episode.