If you ask my wife what’s my biggest problem and she’ll probably tell you that I don’t know how to relax. Well, actually I do, but I don’t do it very often and when I finally do stop, I usually find that my body thanks me by catching a cold or something similarly unpleasant.
The trouble is that there is so much to do… digital photos to edit and print for the family album… half a dozen unfinished blog posts… a dozen never-even-started blog posts… website(s) to update/redevelop… office to
tidy up find under a mountain of paperwork… analogue music collection to rip… learn to play the guitar (again)… catch up my reading… get my motorbike running again… sell a pile of stuff on eBay (iPAQ, SDLT drive, motorbike)… get rid of the old computers in the garage… you get the picture – and that’s not considering the important stuff like making time for my wife and children, going out to work for a living and catching up with friends.
There’s another side to this – my health. I’m 5 stone overweight (4 stone above what I consider to be realistic) and 35 years of age in April – if I don’t do something soon then I really will start to get ill. I need to make time in my busy schedule to get fit – and I need to relax.
I was talking over some problems with a good friend a few nights back and he suggested meditation. Now I don’t know anything about meditation, but I am becoming quite interested in the whole idea of keeping my mind, body and spirit in balance (I guess it’s another one of those triangulation things – like I find that you can cope with issues in any one of home, work and love-life but if two of the three start to have problems then it gets really bad) – I even went to a Hatha Yoga class on Friday night (the woman on my wife’s Yoga DVDs still makes me cringe though).
So what’s this got to do with a technology blog? Well, quite a lot actually, because my friend’s meditation suggestion got me thinking. It’s not meditation, but I did hear Merlin Mann (writer and consultant on personal productivity, “life hacks”, and simple ways to make your life a little better) talking about pzizz on a podcast (probably MacBreak Weekly, or This Week in Tech).
Originally available as hardware but now as software for Windows or the Mac, pzizz is a dynamic relaxation system – kind of like a relaxation CD for energising naps or simply getting to sleep; but actually far more than that as you can customise each track and select how long each nap will last. I wasn’t entirely convinced at first, so I downloaded the sample 15 minute naps and was very impressed (particularly when taking an energizer nap at my desk as I started to flag in the middle of the afternoon). Thinking that might have been a fluke (hey, shutting your eyes and chilling out for 15 minutes is bound to be relaxing isn’t it?), I tried it again today – and felt great. So good in fact that I then went out for a brisk walk (another one of my life hacks – albeit one recommended by my doctor) and it’s true – exercise does make you feel good (various gym memberships over the years have just made the each gym’s bank balance look good – to the detriment of my own)!