Thoughts From Quarantine: Week 8


  This is the end of the saga. Thoughts From Quarantine has covered everything you need to succeed with your health and fitness while self isolating.

The last piece of advice is about managing problems as they arise. Some are solvable, some you can only manage. 

Here’s how to tell which is which and what to do about them to keep your wits.

Don’t let this discourage you. It’s the nature of most obstacles we face in life. Some problems are fixable. Some you can only manage. Let me explain my reasoning.

Solvable problems can be dealt with once and very seldom (or never) revisited. There are actually very few of these problems in life. Decisions like buying a car, picking a spot for your fridge, picking your gym, and deciding what city to live in are big decisions that you make and leave alone for a long time. You’ve solved the problem.

Notice, if you car breaks down you have a new problem to solve. You’ll solve it by getting a new one and moving on. This would be considered victory over a new solvable problem.

The majority of life is manageable problems. Things that require frequent decisions will never be completely solved.

Self-care is a prime example. Will you workout today? What will you do in your workout? When will you actually do it? How will you get there and back? What will you eat today? How will you get it? When can you shop/cook/prep/eat? These are the draining problems of life if you handle them reactively. 

“Decision fatigue” is a well documented issue. Being reactive with your manageable problems can steal your ability to make good decisions over the course of the day or week. Managing decision fatigue is why Steve Jobs famously wore exactly the same clothes every day. Jeff Bezos preaches only making 3 impactful decisions per day. You have to protect your capacity for critical thinking.

Habits and routines make many of these manageable problems second nature. Finding routine blocks that remove the need to reevaluate every second of your day will take a huge weight off your shoulders and leave your mind free to make the decisions that matter.

Your ability to cope with the remaining isolation and staggered opening strategies of most state lies in identifying your manageable and solvable problems.

Look at your daily and weekly activities. Identify the problems you can solve right now and be done with. Do it. Everything else is a manageable problem.

You can turn manageable problems into solvable ones by making them a routine. You decide once on the routine. The routine manages your manageable problems. Build habits and routines that save you energy.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. See you outside this fall.