Ep. 100 – The Highlight Episode, Part 1: Fatigue, Fun & Distraction

Hello and – Welcome to episode 100 of Fewer Things Better! 

When I started this podcast almost two years ago, I had no other goal than to stick with it for at least 62 episodes. 

Why 62? Because I’m a nerd and I had learned about this invisible threshold at 62 miles above sea level, known as the Kármán line. This marks the unofficial transition between sky to space. I figured I could at least make 62 efforts to get past the invisible line of my own comfort zone. 

And 62 episodes seemed like a good stretch to give oxygen to the thoughts inside my head and enough room for the courage to learn out loud. It’s often said that we teach what we most need to learn, and this podcast has offered weekly mile markers on the long and winding road of forging my own map. In fact, I often revisit these reminders spoken there and then to use as a bit of a lamplight in the here and now. 

I’ll be the first to claim limited expertise in many of the subjects that get explored here on these episodes. Oftentimes, I’m capturing everyday notes and ideas, and insights from others that I hear as I go along as sort of a field map filled in with margin notes and sticky notes. 

The Bottom Line on Top of this milestone episode is that sometimes the best efforts you make will be done by you and done for you. 

I have definitely learned that there isn’t a simple solution for how to do fewer things better. There is value, however, in exploring what resonates…and equally important, what we resist. 

As I looked back over 99 episodes, I saw some themes from the topics and from the feedback I heard from so many of you listening in the thousands of downloads from more than a dozen countries and 100 cities. 

So in honor of the time and topics, this episode-number 100, is part one of two that captures some key themes on the journey to do fewer things better. 

The first theme is that We’re tired. Really tired. 

  • We spend a lot of time paying attention to the clock; however, there is real scientific fairy dust in learning more about your personal chronobiology. We began at the very beginning of Episode 4 offering a great outline on why our personal When matters. Figure out your own clock, and so much of the noisy world starts to make a bit more sense.  
  • Just last episode, #99, we looked at ways to reclaim realistic rest. Realistic because we live in the real world. Resting is different from restoration. Rest can be a temporary pause from activities; whereas restoration is an intentional return to a healthier place for us. I saw a great definition that said to restore a situation means to cause it to exist again. I love the idea that we can take small steps to make something within us exist again.
  • If you find yourself feeling the weight of more than just fatigue, Episode 87 is about some tips to recognize and recover from burnout. Burnout is that customized blend of situations, circumstances, and feelings that impact you in a way that takes a while for you to recover. I say  that on purpose, because burnout is not ours to defend, and it’s not ours to define in some common practice. It’s something that we experience deeply.

In fact I heard a character in a movie say one time “I’m the kind of tired that a long weekend can’t cure.” And that is something a lot of us can relate to. So, really looking at fatigue and burnout is something that we can all benefit from and recognize in ourselves and maybe in others.

Another theme is We do too much, and we play too little. Both of those things makes that tired feeling a little bit more understandable. 

  • One of the most popular episodes (if defined by listeners vs. agreement) is from the very early days. Episode 3 explains why multitasking is a myth. It’s not even part of our cognitive makeup. Instead, what happens within our brain is known as task switching. It’s a super-fast unconscious shift in our attention between tasks. Sometimes that can be in microseconds. But this show takes a closer look at the cost behind all that attention hopscotching. 
  • One way to help with the drive to do-it-all is to give yourself the gift of good enough. And that’s what Episode 42 does. It talks about the messy middle and finding ways to be okay with just being okay. The messy parts of us are actual parts of us. We’re not supposed to sand it all away. If we do, we’re missing the opportunity to improve, and evolve. Being real leads to real moments. And when others see more of the real parts of us, then we might be able to go a little deeper than the screen and superficial exchanges and experience real connection–and that matters. 
  • Life is hard enough – make sure that you also make time for recess. And that’s what Episode 98 talks about– the power (and science) of fun, joy, and play. Similar, Episode 60 is about the immediate impact of having a day to play, however you define day. Taking off for multiple days for vacation requires a lot of planning. But a day? A few hours? Even most over achievers and people pleasers can admit that the world will turn without them for at least that long. 

The next theme is We are distracted, a lot. 

  • Going back to those early archives again, we started exploring our many distractions in disguise with Episode 5, that also offered two time-based tools to help kickstart our focus. I use them practically every day.
  • Taking distractions to a deeper level, Episode 27 looked at how these distraction decisions carry a cost – some that we willingly pay and others that cost more than we initially realize. 
  • Another popular episode is #24 and that is about how indecision is a decision. There are times where we need to hit the pause button on our thinking for a bit, but pay attention to how often you reach for that button. It could be that whatever you are still deciding on is what you are avoiding. 

That’s the first part of key themes from 100 episodes. If you like roundup recaps like this, check out Episode 37–we had a lot of clips on attention, time, decisions, connections, and sleep. 

Whether you’re new to this conversation or you’ve been part of the journey at different points, first, thank you and I hope you find some things that resonate…and maybe some things you resist. Both are valuable ways that we can explore as we take care to take good care. 

Your brain is hungry. Give it some intellectual snacks in the
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I'm Kristin

I left my corporate work and dove further into how to navigate this noisy, digital, exhausted world. The result is a methodology centered on communications, productivity, and culture that blends theory with practice and helps people better enjoy the life they worked so hard to get.