When there are so many things to do, that I can no longer keep track...well...you know what they say about the chicken and its head? I'm pretty sure my head just fell off.
I have a list of things to do. Ok...that's a lie. I have five lists of things to do. I am excellent at making lists. I make a list and then divide those list items into their own sub-lists. When I finish something that wasn't on the original list, I add it and simultaneously put a check mark by it. I have a "master" to do list, then my daily to do list, which I make each morning organized into quadrants: important/time sensitive, important/not time sensitive, not important/time sensitive and not important/not time sensitive.
I am a huge dork.
I'm not completely anal-retentive, just a little OCD, and I've made peace with that. As one who can fall prey to anxiety, it just plain makes me feel better to have everything put into manageable lists. Oh...and project management software...and I've been known to rock a good spreadsheet out. So maybe I have more than my share of organizational tools, but hey, it works for me.
I am a huge dork that gets shit done.
I'm sure you're wondering where the hell this topic is coming from, so here's a little context: I had a whirlwind of emotional months leading up to the Kavanaugh hearings which sparked my letter, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past, which as you are most likely aware of by now, went viral. The aftermath brought correspondence from people all over the world who shared with me their thoughts on the topic, and stories from their own pasts.
Last week, I told you how I escaped to Las Vegas for a break. I worked my butt off prior to leaving and finished 35 little Reclaimed Heart paintings, which I'm going to offer during my locals' holiday sale, and my December online Pop Up Shop.
When I got back to the studio last Tuesday, I rocked out 10 more paintings, dealt with the printing of thousands of note cards, and have been working down my holiday art sale check list as well as my art pop up shop check list, my show marketing check list and my media check list (because I'm still trying to increase the reach of my letter)... And then my head fell off.
Five lists plus project management software = efficiency...until my head falls off.
I am a huge dork, who gets shit done and then needs to stop and cry.
After taking care of the to do item, "print out point of sale check list", and started to work on my inventory and pricing check list, I took a break to watch a video on Facebook with the caption, "a real tear jerker". Well, that was the end of me. I was ugly crying in front of the computer complete with gasping and snotty snorts. It was at that point I realized that my head had fallen off about 3 lists ago and I had been on efficiency autopilot ever since, which entails completing tasks now and asking questions later.
I am a huge dork, who gets shit done and needs to stop and cry in order to realize that I what I really need is to go surfing.
I know, I know...I'm a slave to the wave. It's a beautiful yet sometimes inconvenient thing. I haven't been in the water for just about over 2 weeks now. It's about my max before I get squirrelly. I know myself well enough to know that if I don't stop mid-day for a walk outside, I actually become less efficient in the afternoon. It's the same with surfing. I need to get into the ocean and stop the hamster wheel in my head for a minute. When I get back, I know I'll be twice as efficient, plus my head will be attached, once again.
Sometimes I just have to take a step back to re-energize and gain fresh perspective. I can get totally sucked into my lists and can feel like I'm not accomplishing enough. The fact is I accomplish more in one day than many do in a week. It will never be enough for me though, so I have to force the break. (And frankly, going to Las Vegas, while it was an amazingly fun time, is not the same kind of break as being in the ocean...go figure.)
I am one who works best in spurts. When I'm in work mode, not much will stop me from completing what I feel I need to. When I'm in the ocean, all of the lists melt away and the stress dissipates. That feeling of letting go will stay with me for about 2 weeks. That is just my work flow. As one who is fairly new to working from home, it has taken me nearly 2 years to figure this out and to stop beating myself up about taking a day to surf. It's just a freakin' day!
The holidays are a stressful time. No matter how much joy they bring, they can also bring overwhelm. We need to make sure to give ourselves a break this holiday season in order to practice good self-care. So, take care of yourself and do what you can to keep your head on. I had a little bit of a hard time finding mine this go round, so I recommend being proactive about it.
The lists will still be here when I get back, plus, I know that there is pie to look forward to next week. So I'll surf tomorrow and then work my ass off again until Thanksgiving. Then pie... Then a holiday sale... Then an online pop up shop... Then Christmas...Ho Jeez. Surfs up!
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Join me on this crazy beautiful Artventure to receive early access to my December Pop Up Shop, where I'll be offering some paintings from my Reclaimed Hearts series, one of which is seen at top.