Usually, at this time in the life of an album release (4 weeks to go ARGH!), I’d be working very long days, scrambling to complete all the video editing, design work, formatting, copywriting and everything else that goes into introducing a new collection of music to you. This time, okay — I still have a few things to finish, but it feels different.
No scrambling. No extended work days — I know that’s a false economy after experiencing burnout several times in the past two years (at least). Health first. Long walks with the dogs in the frosty grass by the River Avon.
This year, above all other things, my goal is to slow down and enjoy the things I’m doing while I’m doing them. Shifting my mindset from “argh this needs to be finished ASAP so I can get on with the next thing that needs to be done last week” to “I’m making this thing I really care about, which will take as long as it needs to be good, and then I’ll step away from the computer for a while”.
I don’t want to live my life enjoying having made things, I’d like to create the mental space to enjoy making them.
I’ve been managing that so far this year by staying off all addictive scrolly internet things for most of the day. I’m allowed a brief sweep of each platform towards the end of the workday — and that’s it. I’m not allowed to open my email til just before lunch, and can only check it once more before I finish for the evening.
This is extreme for some people, I know — and I’m not required to be available on email throughout the day in this job, so it won’t work for everyone — but my buzzy brain almost immediately calmed right down when I started this new routine in early January. Instead of reaching for my phone first thing, expecting my noggin to process an inordinate number of images and words before breakfast without becoming dizzy and distracted, I’m making it easier on myself.
I love it. It’s so…quiet! I used to find it hard to sit at my desk and start the next thing on my list. I thought I sucked at my job. I wondered if my motivation had left the building, or if I had just run out of ideas I could believe in. Turns out I was just drowning out my own thoughts with other peoples’.
Due to all the “extra” time I’ve given myself, I’ve read 5 books so far this month. One of my favourites is “Discipline Is Destiny” by Ryan Holiday (affiliate link — btw one of this writer’s other books is responsible for the flash…