I don’t have enough time.
Ever heard that?
When’s the last time you said it?
Seth Godin says it’s not a shortage of time really but attention. Yep. We like to say that time is our most precious commodity these days, but I’m learning that the true value in time is not the actual minutes, but the minutes of focused attention. You will get more done in 15 minutes of true concentration, then you will in 45 minutes of distracted “multi-tasking”
Welcome to midweek muse. Stuff I’m mulling over and attempting to understand, implement, improve or teach (with no guarantee of clarity or relevance)
So, multi-tasking …
As women, we are natural multi-taskers. This however does not mean that we can effectively do multiple things at once. I used to pride myself in the attempt to multi-task, and let’s face it sometimes in our daily routines, we don’t have a choice. BUT … often times we do have a choice and as our world becomes more distracting and demanding, I’m choosing more often to FOCUS in short bursts of attention, over 15, 30 and sometimes (depending on the task at hand) 60 minutes.
You can only give your full attention to one thing at a time. It’s true and if you really want to engage with something in a satisfying, productive and rewarding way, it takes your full attention.
NOW .. this does NOT mean that you can’t move multiple projects forward at the same relative time. You absolutely can. I do. When people ask how I am able to get a LOT done, this is my answer: I’m not afraid to start something new before I’ve finished something else. I’m also getting better at tracking process and progress. I’m learning that there is a point in every process where you need to concentrate on finishing, but up until that point, you can be extremely productive in moving the parts and pieces a long the path to completion. I’m also learning that the sooner you start, the better.
You have the ability to add projects, opportunities and experiences to your life even when you are in the midst of other projects, opportunities and experiences. Simply put, this practice has allowed me to participate more fully with life. As long as you learn to manage expectations and the creative process of each commitment in a progressive way, you CAN do more than you think you can and (the really cool thing is) your capacity, similar to a muscle will increase and expand as you carefully overload it. It sounds like I’m advocating for excessive stress, but I’m not. What I’m saying is BIG accomplishments are a series of little accomplishments and little accomplishments can be accomplished in 15 minute chunks — especially when you’re are fully focused.
I believe as creative women, it is essential that we engage
with a variety of projects at any given time — the stimulus that comes
from doing so is like super-food for the right side of our brains.
You can be working on a gift album for your sister and a vacation mini-book about the trip to Disney and stop both to respond to inspiration and create a layout dedicated to your son’s personality.
If you force yourself to finish a project that really doesn’t HAVE to be finished, you might zap the very energy you crave and when you choose to not act on incoming inspiration you may end up feeling like your best ideas never happen. So, muse for a few moments about your ability to …
1. Turn it on and then turn it back off .
2. Take it out and then put it away.
3. Get started and then STOP.
Is your home and creative space set up to support this kind of flow? Maybe it’s not organization of actual product, but organization of process and progress that could help you get more done — especially when it’s stuff you really want to do!
I’m curious … what do you think?
BTW, I’m faithfully reading the Write.Click.Scrapbook blog this week. Angie is there. Actually, she and Wendy are at Elizabeth’s house and I’m feeling left out! Thank goodness for virtual vicariousness (I can’t believe that is a word!)