One of the things that keeps me straight is a to-do list. There’s a sense of completion as I cross off all of the things.
Sometimes, though, I’m just not feeling it. I have the list. I know it would behoove me to get the thing done but every shiny thing that comes along gets the better of me.
Last week I started my list on Monday and at the top of the list is always lesson planning for the next week.
I know it’s there. I know I must get it done. But I’ve got nothin’.
Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. No inspiration. A theme. A couple of books pulled. Friday. Yes, on Friday I’ll do it and it will be awesome.
Know when I finished? Sunday at 5 PM.
One of the things about myself that I am completely okay with is that I can’t force things. When I do, my mind jumps around like an over-caffeinated toddler on Christmas Eve.
It’s gotta be organic and I’m okay with that.
Hard deadlines. I know it has to be done and generally the closer I get, the better the product.
Sounds pretty self-serving but honestly, I trust myself and I know myself enough to know that this process works.
Sometimes you have to take a break. Sometimes, you have to be gentle when things aren’t coming as quickly as you might like it to.
I used to think that the blocks stemmed from my opinion that I wasn’t creative. Not true. It’s just that I put so much pressure on myself for perfection that I couldn’t tune out the noise.
We all do that.
What I have found is that if I just forgive myself and know that in the quiet, it will come, if I trust the process. Everything will be fine. And the product will be better than what I could’ve produced a week earlier.
I’m not advocating for procrastination. That is usually done out of fear of not being perfect. No. I’m advocating for self-compassion and for breaks. Lots of them. To get your thoughts aligned with the actions necessary to make something happen.
Try it. If you have a block about a problem you want to solve or something you have to do and it’s not coming, take a break. Give yourself a deadline but give your mind a rest. Go do something completely different. Take a nap. Listen to music. Read a great book. Draw or knit. Go for a walk.
But stop beating yourself up and trying to force that which will come if you will just stop trying to force the door open. Be gentle with your creativity. Coax it in by giving your beautiful overworked brain a rest. Think of it as a brain-cation. Fun, sun, and rest. Just the Happy Fix you need to create the life you want and keep crossing stuff off the to-do list of life.