Mental Bandwidth

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, and it promises to be a crazy couple more. I once heard someone note that “life”—by which they essentially meant the stresses thereof—tends to happen in waves. It makes a certain intuitive sense because I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a steady state of elevated stress for more than several months at a time. I happen to be in the midst of one of those several month stretches.

All of the contributing factors are good things, but they make for long weeks. Preparing for the LSAT had been eating up much of my time as it was, and then I added a temporary job on top of it. Both of these things will be over and done with within two weeks of each other.

Until then, though, I feel like everything is a scramble, and it has made it substantially more difficult to stay on point with my various goals. Luckily, one of my goals is directly related to that LSAT, though, and that is how I’m staying motivated. What I’m feeling now, then, is something that most people intuitively know, which is that it is not only our time that is limited, but our bandwidth.

What do I mean? I mean that, emotionally, there is only so much a given person can “cram” into a given day. If you only have five hours of work to do today, but it’s five hours of stuff you hate, you may not have the bandwidth at the end to do the things you enjoy a bit more, because you are so tired of working. That is, you want to have some fun. Sometimes, you can find something to do that is fun and productive, but most of the time you’re just spent.

This is why, I think, so many books are written about eliminating the stuff you hate from your workday as much as that is possible. If you hate your job, find one you enjoy more, and keep making those steps towards an ideal job. That’s the mantra of most motivational books I’ve read. The more enjoyable work you have, the more work you will be able to do before your bandwidth is exhausted. The more work you are able to do, the more likely you are to find real wealth.

At least, that’s my understanding of these books.

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