This morning when I woke up, it felt like it was going to be a good day. I was ready for lift off for a good productive day, I would be on track checking things off my list, accomplishing things, building my plans, cultivating my future. But when you work from home like I do, sometimes it takes a Herculean effort to keep up the momentum day in and day out. Today was one of those days.
Practically by the time I had finished baking up some Berry Oat Wondies a la Flying Apron, I was just over the day and ready to curl up in bed and go back to sleep. Or do nothing. Maybe it's the slightly sick feeling I have, or maybe it's the mini taper I am forcing upon myself for this Sunday's Napa Marathon (even though its a training race). I am sure not too much analysis is needed since there are just days like this for everyone. I am sure there are people out there who feel this way all the time. But for some reason, it's just not sitting right. I just wanted to feel otherwise today, I wanted to NOT try and just do. I wanted to be able to choose not to fail.
But instead I took a nap. And when I woke up, it was raining outside and I looked at my clock and said, hmmm well maybe I could just sleep for the rest of the day. Every time I sat down at the computer I wasn't even motivated to waste time on social media or mindless internet surfing. I was looking for another link from another of my favorite "illuminated minds" and came across a tweet for a blog that has completely changed my entire thought process of this blog mid-sentence. The author is talking about Time-jacking. You'll have to read their blog to get the whole gist, but I read this:
11. Only work when you want to.
A Timejacker doesn’t work for the sake of working. They focus their attention on activities that are incredibly important. If you find yourself sitting at your computer, and no ideas are coming to you, stop sitting at your computer! Go read a book. Go outside and sit in the park. Go to a yoga class or to the gym and exercise your body. Cook yourself a healthy lunch.
There are a million things you could be doing besides sitting in front of your computer with a glazed over look on your face waiting for ideas to come. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that the ideas won’t come in when you’re in front of the computer.
I wrote this entire article in my brain yesterday as I walked down west side of Prospect Park. I stopped at the bookstore and pursued the stacks. I got a cup of coffee and watched people do what people do.
I decided that Timejacking was the most important element of success as I was NOT sitting in front of a computer. The next day, I simply sat down and wrote a nearly 3500 word article in an hour. Because this article is so valuable, it will no doubt return an incredibly high value to my business.
If I had spent yesterday staring blankly at a computer screen, I never would have written this article. Take this to your own life though; how often do you sit at a computer screen just waiting for ideas to come?
I spend way too much time at my computer waiting for my ideas to come. I haven't written any of my book(s) because I spend way too much time thinking that I should be able to find motivation to start on page one and just start going. I find my inspiration on the run, in the kitchen, when I am doing the things that I love in life. Too often I derail myself because I try to do things in a way that doesn't actually work with my process. Every morning I sit down at my desk open up my internet browser and in my head say "ok go!"and instantly get distracted by unimportant things (email, facebook, blah, blah, blah). Distracted, derailed and then demoralized. My problem isn't that I am failing to chose not to fail, it is that I am expending my energy trying to work in a way that doesn't maximize or even create results.
I fall prey to the idea of "what I should be doing", feel guilty (oh Catholic guilt) that I operate in a non-linear or traditional manner. Fact of the matter is, I am a project based person. Put a task in front of me (especially one I am passionate about) and I can work away at it with a feverish passion. I can do an immense amount of work in a small amount of time. I can do one person's month worth of work, in the course of a few days. Over the time I have worked at home, I have trained myself to sit down every day for 7-8 hours and "work". Even if there is no work to be done, no task to complete or even better no inspiration to fuel the fire. When I worked in previous office jobs, I would get all my work done in the first 2 hours and then be miserable for the rest of my time.
I confound myself. It is quite humorous actually. When I work less, I am way more productive. And when I force myself to work more, I am way less. I don't embrace my own process and end up stressing myself out. I do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. That is the definition of insanity, yes I know!
So today, I have to come to realize I didn't fail. Today, despite spending my morning baking, grocery shopping, napping and eating, I actually accomplished a very huge thing: I understood my own process AND I took action creating something to reflect it. How long did it take? 45 minutes of good hard work. How much time could I have spent not being worried about finding that 45 minutes of inspiration? 8 hours. Guess I didn't need a Herculean effort after all. The momentum continues to build and day after day, it's pretty cool to watch the journey unfold.