Day 107: Checking Out is Rough

Going all the way back to Day Three — checking out is rough. It’s still a very difficult thing to be mindful about. I’ve got the alarm set, and it goes off at 8:10, but it’s becoming rote.

Rote is the anti-mindful. More often than not, I’ll just turn the alarm off and think, “yes, I need to do that before bed.” I’m not taking the signal seriously. So it’s probably worth reviewing my initial intention for checking out:

Reminders for when checking out is rough:

  • Setting a specific time every night.
  • Tying checking out to a particular regular part of my routine: brushing teeth or getting changed for bed.
  • Having a timer or other way of knowing this is a finite task with a (short) end point.
  • Having a ‘cheat sheet’ of questions I can ask myself and answer while checking out:
    • What was the easiest part of keeping promises to myself today?
    • What was the hardest?
    • Can I foresee anything that will cause problems tomorrow — things like office lunches, after-work meetings, social engagements?
    • Do I have a strategy to manage those potential hazards?
  • Take it easy on myself: it’s not about having a perfect day, but knowing what went well and what went badly.

Thanks, Past Me! Those seem like pretty good ideas for a check-out.

Part of the issue is that when checking out is rough, it’s because checking out has become rote. See above. It also feels like self-policing in a “naggy” way rather than a positive way.

There’s some framing work to do there — to make checking out more of a mindfulness thing, even a celebratory thing. Avoiding the YAGO trap of it being a mental slog through the day.

Maybe I need to take the checklist thing to another level…

_ Didn’t drink
_ Exercised
_ Logged food
_ Didn’t snack
_ Planned tomorrow

…and actually turn it into a real checklist instead of a mental inventory. I’ll pick this up tomorrow.