I have a really cool blood disorder. It means oxygen levels in my body ain’t where they are, that I can easily end up with a iron deficiency and my favourite – allows me to sleep quickly, easily, and in large quantity of hours. ( 16 hours is my record ).

One of the downsides of it, is that I find it really easy to get tired, sleepy when I’m bored. If I am not engaged with my work, my focus disappears. For the past month, this has been difficult. I have caught myself falling asleep at 12noon and waking up at 7pm, and most October days I have been lethargic between 12 and 4.

This might sound like fun, but it means I’m constantly looking for ways to be productive and stay engaged so I do get things done.

The irony is that this is a problem I’ve had all my life so it’s not like any of this is new to me, yet I still fall into habits that don’t help or what is more honest – I forget to do the habits that help me manage the effects of my disorder. When I was at Tom’s flat I felt bad of the impact it was having me so I challenged myself to get myself into gear.

In the last week I have managed to take no afternoon naps! 🎉 A lot of it comes down to remembering coping mechanisms that I have and using them. I thought I would share a bunch of my favourite tricks that I’ve been using this week.

  1. Wake up at 7am and open the curtains straight away.
    As a person with no kids or pets, my answer to when to get up was moments before the first meeting. This is not helpful as I tend to be groggy from being asleep and my body hasn’t naturally woken up.

    The opening curtains is to help with the body circadian rhythm.
  2. Use a notepad to jot thoughts down.
    I would love to call what I write on my notepad everyday a to do list, but it’s more of an intentions list. The reality is that I’ll end up doing a bunch of other things, but that’s ok. It helps me get thoughts off my mind and takes a weight of my shoulder.
  3. Plan meetings with my problem in mind.
    I reassessed my calendar so that most 1:1s start first thing and my meeting are back to back with 10 minute breaks. I also got stricter with ensuring there is a lunch gap somewhere in my day.
  4. Don’t over eat.
    I’ve found it too easy to be too full and eat too much. So I’ve started calorie counting so that I know my meals are not too big and putting me into a food coma after lunch.
  5. Drink lots of water.
    I’ve cut out a lot of caffeine from my diet. We mostly drink decaf tea at home and I now start my day with a cup of hot water to wake myself up with.
  6. Pick simulating tunes.
    I’ve read about the affects of music and health many a times. I stumbled across a thread where someone was asking for music to help them concentrate. I know people often recommend white noise or lo-fi beats. They sometimes they work, but recently they haven’t hit the same way.

    The thread I was reading had a bunch of recommendations that were based around the idea of music with lots of layers – remixes and mashups.

    Not everything is kid or work friendly so listen at your own risk. 😁 ( Links below are all Spotify ones. )

The list also recommended searching the following on music service of choice or SoundCloud to find stuff that you might find engaging.

Now that I’ve written this out, it feels like obvious things to do. But; I do want to acknowledge how easy it is to forget the basics. The big change really was remembering to put music on and finding the Two Friends Big Bootie Mixes.

If anyone has anything they turn to to stay focus, I would love to know what your coping mechanisms are. 🙏