The secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard.Tim Ferris
This week I’ve been pushing my normal assumptions regarding time. I have swung from one extreme to another in different phases of my life. In college, I went through a period where I was getting about 3 hours of sleep to keep my grades high. That later came back to bite me. I woke up one morning and I couldn’t move my arms. My roommate had to drive me to an Urgent Care, where I subsequently had to get medicine for bronchitis and other things (lucky for me, she was a nursing student).
Other times I’ve felt I’ve wasted time, or I’ve had a lot of anxiety around getting everything done and “I don’t have enough time” is on repeat in my head.
This week I’ve been trying to take the emotion out of it and to simply experiment with different techniques, without sacrificing sleep, that stretch my days. For me, that means at least seven hours at night and sometimes an addition nap during the day. I’m committed to my own running and now I’ve piled a routine in to get our horses fit again (we try to exercise them 4-5 times a week). That’s about 3 hours per day dedicated to moving our bodies. Then there’s working and errands and taking care of kids. I knew that I needed to “find more time”, but in a positive way.
I read once that when we say we don’t have enough time, what we really mean is that “it’s not a priority”. And we all have the same amount of time, right? I want to sit on the couch, but really I need to get outside and work the horses. I have to want their fitness more than I want to take it easy, and this goes for anything. There’s a lot of time we can find in those moments.
I also experimented with time “chunking”, and you guys, I think I’m onto something that is going to greatly increase my productivity. Time chunking is simply starting something (without procrastinating), and when distraction or frustration sets in, I switch to another productive activity to give myself some grace. Some people set timers…that’s too formal for me. But keeping it fun and walking away, for a short time, is helping tremendously.
As I stated last week, I’ve started some larger art pieces. They can frustrate me because progress is slow and I’m taking on human figures, which tend to also take awhile to work out. I would work as long as I could stand it, then I’d throw in some laundry or eat lunch and read a few pages from my favorite book (not get on social media).
I also have a book I want to write to my daughter before she graduates, and that’s really intimidating to take on. Instead of thinking about the end, I’ve started thinking of topics or possible chapters. Then when an idea pops in my head (usually when walking the horses) I run in and type a few notes in my computer. I’m not worried about writing eloquently, or signing a book deal (I have told myself even if it’s typed out on computer paper, that’s fine), but I’m inching the project forward.
We tend to forget baby steps still move us forward.
Let me tell you, this week has felt amazing! By letting the end results fall out how they may, working my tail off, and kicking distractions to the curb, I am feeling that wonderful thing called momentum building. And it feels so good!
I have three new pieces of art to add to my shops.
The first was a plein air from my studio, and I’m calling it “Winter’s Last Stand”. Tuesday was a nasty day, and instead of feeling blue that old man winter wasn’t letting go of his grip, I decided to try and capture the blue and grays of the sky outside my window, as well as the trees, which are starting to turn the warm oranges and reds before they start to bud. It is very loose because I had to paint fast!
Then I added an abstract later in the week, which I’m calling “Soir”, which is French for “evening”.
And last but not least, I kicked out a watercolor. Spring is coming, right?
These will be listed soon, but as always, if you want a painting before then, please reach out via my contact page. I’ll make sure it gets to you!
Have a wonderful weekend friends! And if you experiment with time and something works well for you, please share with us! I love learning new things.
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