In general, it's pretty good to create boundaries between certain things in life. Making sure that our days and actions don't all blend together into a meaningless blob is a task everyone has to take on.
In my view, there are three key aspects of intentional separation:
Aspect number one: Time.
Every single activity that we do takes a certain amount of time. No "thing" lasts zero seconds, and very few last forever, at least in the human time scale. Being intentional about the amount of time things take is very important. Saying "I'm going to work on this tomorrow from 3 to 4 pm" instead of "I'm going to work on this tomorrow" makes a huge difference in our brain and increases the possibility of that thing actually getting done.
Aspect number two: Space.
As I wrote more than a week ago, creating separate physical spaces is also very important. We unconsciously strongly associate a certain activity with a certain space. It's 10 times easier to start working out in a gym, than it is in a kitchen.
Aspect number three: Mode.
This is the trickiest bit. Mostly because there can be so many modes. For me, a mode is a specific way of thinking. A "mindset" so to say, but not exactly. It's the way I am processing information during a certain activity.
I usually operate in one of these three different modes:
- Listener. My brain is open to consuming external information. I focus on collection rather than organization. I am not the one setting the tempo of thoughts; the thing I'm listening to is. I am just going along the way, collecting things for later.
- Speaker. This is when I let my thoughts out. Either through actual speaking (oftentimes to myself), or another form of outside thought collection like writing or drawing. This is when I have to get things straightened out, polished.
- Ponderer. No listening, no speaking. Just working through the thoughts that are already there. Asking deeper questions. This mode is all about actively organizing and throwing out thoughts and ideas.
Just by answering when, where, and how you're going to do a certain thing already makes a huge difference.
A start to a more intentional life.