Machines are mechanisms designed to augment human muscles. Some machines can have thousands of parts. If one part breaks, you may notice some reduced performance. When many parts break, The Machine stops.
That’s when the problems start.
The Machine is a mental mechanism I use to make my life easier. I’ve also heard it referred to as the flossing of life. Getting out of bed, exercising, eating healthy, focusing on work, focusing on projects, doing household chores, and anything else that contributes towards a healthy and productive lifestyle is a part of The Machine. Anything that makes things like that easier to do or easier to decide to do is helpful. A theme you will notice throughout this post is that everything bends towards a clean environment. To me, a clean environment helps immensely with clarity of thought.
For my own reference, this is a list of things that help me personally:
If this fails, I become more reluctant to cook meals for myself and my diet is more likely to be bad.
I start every day off with a morning routine. If my day starts off messy, my head is going to be messy for the rest of the day.
If my garbage fills up and I don’t take it out because I’m too lazy, I can’t throw things away. Things like plastic containers which should be in the recycling end up just sitting on my counter. This leads to a messy mentality and leads to a poor diet, since my garbage is right next to my kitchen and in this case would contribute to messiness in the kitchen.
Eventually I always need a haircut. I usually find it annoying to have to set up a schedule and then take time to drive to a place to have my hair cut, but it needs to happen otherwise I progressively look shaggier and shaggier, which only encourages slack in other parts of The Machine.
Thankfully this much is built into a daily routine I made for myself, so it’s often not something I need to consciously think about, but supporting this routine is something I absolutely need to stay on top of. Brushing teeth requires toothpaste, washing myself in the shower requires soap. If I run out of these, The Machine will start to break down.
Kind of self explanatory. I need to pay bills, which is why I will try to automate any bill paying I can, even if it costs extra in “service” charges. Keeping The Machine running is far more important than an extra couple dollars, and the time/effort in productivity that I pick up from not having to mentally track and remember to pay for the bills is always worth it.
If clean dishes are sitting in the dishwasher or dirty dishes are not being run, then dirty dishes pile up outside of the dishwasher, limiting my ability to think clearly and cook healthier meals for myself.
I need clean clothes and I need a clean bedroom. Without these I run into the same issue as when my bathroom gets really dirty. That is the place where I start and end my day, and if it’s a huge mess then my brain will be a huge mess.
Clear desk, clear mind. My desk being free of clutter from any one of my many projects helps me to stay focused on the task at hand. I extend this to the rest of my office and try to keep it as clean and organized as possible most of the time. Exceptions are when I’m neck deep in a problem for a project, but even then I clean up whenever I’m done because that thought process needs to be cut off once I’m done working on a project. If That thought process is allowed to continue, it will start to bleed into other projects.
This isn’t everything, but I can’t think of any more so I’ll probably add some once I think of them. It is only once all of the parts of The Machine are maintained that I consider myself free to continue with my life, to grow and to learn in a healthy way. I can still grow and learn without maintaining The Machine, but only for a short while until The Machine grinds to a halt.