Friday, September 09, 2011

Last week vs this week

Last week Ashley and I challenged each other to commit to making art the way we've always committed to our job jobs. We both found it strange that we are more responsible when it comes to working for others than when we are working for ourselves. To remedy this, we planned schedules, promised to arrive on time and not leave early and tried our best to not let our art time be considered flexible.

I added another level to this challenge and forced myself to work last week in complete silence. No NPR in the other room, cell phone on vibrate, no TV show on the computer and no music.

It was strict and a little lonely but other than that, last week was spectacular. I got more done in a week than I had in the past month. It felt so good to have time with my own brain without battling interrupting stimuli. It was hard for me to get going early in the morning but I am so glad I forced myself to stick with projects until the end of the day instead of getting distracted like I normally would. Take that ADD! I got stuff done in the silence vacuum!

In contrast, this week had a holiday, a Bazaar Bazaar meeting, a nutritionist appointment, a vet appointment and a meeting for teaching classes and my plan fell apart. This week could be considered a near total flop in the productivity department. I did a little of this - a little of that but primarily was an unstructured mess-generating machine.

Next week I'm back to 8 hours of silence per day and I'm sure I will stick with it. The contrast between how I felt about myself last week compared to how I feel about myself at the end of this week is dramatic enough to prove the importance of this new ritual.


M said...

It's great to hear you have a working pattern that really suits you, it's amazing how quickly things like lack of productivity can make us feel really down about ourselves in general.

Andrea, at ABC Creativity, has a lot of interesting things to say about making time for yourself and for your art and giving your creative self the energy you deserve.

Starting University soon, and I will definitely try a fixed day and silence to get studying done. I get very easily distracted too, but don't have any excuse! I'm just lazy. The internet has destroyed my attention span!

Daphne said...

Way to go Elise! You're absolutely right that we tend to work harder for other people than we do for ourselves, and it's such a good idea to treat your business as strictly as any other job. This post made me think of that "we can do it!" Rosie the Riveter poster :)

Sarah said...

I should try this. I am a constant tv-haver-oner whenever I'm working. I dont even really watch it, unless something catches my eye and I start at it slack jawed while whatever I'm working on sits neglected for 10 minutes.

Good for you!
I love your workspace so much.

Kristen said...

Thanks for posting this! It has inspired me. I've been dealing with unproductivity all summer. It's so hard to be productive without a routine being enforced on you. I hope to be able to enforce one on myself as you have. Looks like I need to lay down some rules for myself!

Elise of Argyle Whale said...

Mordraena, Thanks for the tip about ABC Creativity. Looks like a great resource! Good luck with school!

Daphne, I love rosie! She should be our club mascot.

Sarah, That slack-jawed thing is what made me finally realize I was not a multitasker. I was supposed to watch a movie and stuff cards in envelopes and I only stuffed 5 because the movie was too good.

Kristen, I'm so glad you are inspired. I would love to hear your plan and how it works out for you!