While listening to a podcast, I was reminded of the need to do things that make us happy. It is very easy to get lost in the weeds of work that we forget play.
Case in point, this week, I missed doing the Motivation Monday post. Mostly because of life happening. My family has been recovering from the flu. Then, I got consumed in a book I’m working on. Plus, I’ve got a presentation to work on. This does not count the things I have to do for work and my family.
In all of this, I opted to skip doing the weekly Monday post for the chance to catch my breath. (I’ve been chipping down to 3 hrs of sleep the past few nights).
in case this sounds like I’m rambling….sleep is knocking hard at my door….
A Moment for Joy
As I am typing this, I’m just realizing how easy it is to give advice and how often we forget the very advice we gave. I always talk about scheduling time for fun and time for love. However. I get into periods of time when I just plow hard towards a goal at the expense of what makes me happy.
The result, my work suffers some because I’m less happy. Sure, there are times you just have to stay sharply focused and plow ahead. However, there are times we think we must be laser focused and in fact, we’re not making nearly the progress we could have.
If I was better rested, I could move faster towards my goals. If I took a few moments to breathe and have fun, I would recharge my creative abilities, which would allow me to create more faster.
So, instead of feeling badly about being so tired, here I am typing away a blog post.
I enjoy writing. That’s why.
There are times when I’m highly stressed and all the other outlets that have historically worked… just aren’t practical. So. I write. I can do that in short burst or, like a few days ago, in long bursts.
In an interview that Mary Katherine Johnson did, her guest was speaking about the importance of scheduling joy into one’s life. Not in the “all or nothing” approach we often do, but in the bite size way that keeps us fed.
One example I’m going to be implementing (because it has been proven highly effective for me in the past) is practicing music for 15 minute blocks of time.
In the words of a few fellow musicians, you can do so much when you string a bunch of 15 minute sessions together in a given week compared to waiting for the ideal hour block in a month.
Yes, I paraphrased that
I’ve been teaching myself to play the bass. Love that instrument. Of late, to keep up with blogging, I put the bass down. Why? I can’t find any one to two-hour blocks of time to practice.
So, months have flown by and the hard-earned skills are starting to fade fast. Same for my keyboard skills (those however are a bit more sturdy than my bass skills… one I’m a rookie the other I’m not)
This 15 minute approach means I can easily see myself picking up the instrument and putting a few riffs together at any point of the morning or night. All depends on when my young children are up or not.
By doing this, I get to do something that makes me happy. When I am happier, I focus better. When I focus better, I do more. When I do more, I feel better from having done more. Up until I reach the limits of what I want to do, as I rather not burn myself down into the ground from being overly productive/busy.
About that book
The approach of doing things in bite sizes has been one of the biggest tips to help me work on the script for the book I want to publish. (OK… in all transparency… this overachiever is attempting to have several books done this year-ish)
Attempting this in one shot is ludicrous. It’s simply crazy. However. Taking one chapter a week at the most aggressive of paces… is proving doable for me. As of the start of this post.. I’m five chapters into the second manuscript and starting my second draft of the first with the design outline nearly done for the third.
No way I could have done all of that if I had set out to do this in one month by blocking out large amounts of quiet time to make this happen.
At this stage of the game, listening to the words of wisdom of many sage before me, I am putting my focus only on one script. The startup phase was fun to juggle many ideas. But now, to mature a project to completion, I’ve focused on just one. Taking it one bite sized step at a time.
By scheduling a little time to have a bit of fun, life just seems to move a bit more smoothly. The organized chaos, as I often call it, is all about the management of self-love and love of others.
February’s theme might have just been laid out in this post. Who knows.
What I do know is this, I’m so glad I heard that podcast. Gave me a ‘redirect’ back to what is important. We all have to take care of putting on our oxygen mask first so that we can help those we want to help… in the best way possible.
Take a moment to sprinkle a little joy in your life today.
To paraphrase the quest on the podcast… you don’t have to go out and build a brand new motor, if that is what makes you happy. (Yes, I have a gear head side to me). But, taking a few minutes a day or week, you can move towards getting the necessary parts, resources, and tools together. Before the year is over, you’ll be surprised how far the build has gotten. Especially in a world where things are so time-consuming it’s not practical to take a full day off every week to work on that motor.
Cheers to bite size fun and success.