Tag Archives: a-ha

Experimenting with self-imposed structure and schedules

I’m what you might call a free spirit.

I’ve never been one for strict schedules.

I don’t like parameters.

They’ve always made me feel boxed in and under pressure. And, I’ve discovered that feeling pressured is my number one creativity killer.

Forced creativity was the hardest part of my former profession of being a graphic designer. Graphic design is what I would call a reactionary profession. A client comes to you with a specific design need and you create it for them based on their timeline.

This process was really stressful for me.

So, when I started my own business, in lieu of structure, I opted for more of a follow the bouncy ball approach. The ball being creativity. Happily chasing after it until the bounces got smaller and smaller and the ball eventually stopped. This approach seemed like living the dream of true creative freedom.

Each new idea started with me throwing the (proverbial) ball at the ground as hard as I could and bouncing along with it until it stopped. At which point, I would pick up the ball and bounce it again.

But, I’ve come to realize that my new focus – marketing mindset work – is what I would refer to as a visionary approach. In guiding others through the blazing of their own trail, I’m creating from scratch. I’m not just following along. I’m leading now, instead of reacting. I’m responsible for throwing the ball. I also have a choice in how and where it bounces and what happens when it starts to slow down.

I’ve been sticking to a reactionary schedule in a visionary setting, thinking that’s where my creativity thrives. But, sometimes the ball bounces off the ceiling and hits you in the face or scoots under the fridge and you just don’t feel like chasing after it. This leaves me in pain, disoriented or with a total loss of momentum.

I’ve started to get curious… can all of that discomfort can be avoided if I choose to catch the ball and start the game over before things get out of hand? Do I have more control over my creativity than I think? Will building a structure for my time create a space, backed by intention, for creativity to flow into?

This deep curiosity to see what happens when I assign blocks of time for specific tasks has led me to fill up my calendar with colorful boxes that tell me what to do, when. Will this approach unleash epic creativity and productivity? I’m itchin’ to find out! Stay tuned for my report on how it all pans out.

How do you set up your schedule and why? What are the pluses and minuses?

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What I learned about anger.

I don’t know if it’s the combo of Mercury retrograde, doing a cleanse and working through resistance in taking action in my biz, but I’ve been feeling incredibly angry this week. Over the course of the week, I’ve gotten into a few heated debates on Facebook about social issues near and dear to my heart and have had several past work situations come back to haunt my brain. These aren’t abnormal incidents in my life, it was more the extreme way they were affecting me.

Once a hyper aware state has lasted for a few days, I eventually realize this isn’t just some isolated appearance of intense emotion, it means an epic a-ha is coming my way. And, a-ha I did.

My a-ha was two-fold:

1. People can’t hear you if you aren’t saying it. I wasn’t speaking my full truth. As a result I didn’t feel like I was being heard.

2. I can’t rely on other people’s Facebook pages and boardroom meetings for all of my truth sharing. It’s really important to me to dig up the truth in a situation and share it. However, not everyone wants to hear the truth. And in some situations, there isn’t any singular truth.

The conclusion:

If I want to always have a space where I can share my ideas, thoughts and opinions, how and when I want, to an audience asking to hear it, I need to build my own platform.

I’m a truth teller.

Truth is delivered and received in different ways depending on the situation. There is sharing your truth with people who are asking to hear it and there is sharing your truth whether someone is asking or not. There is value in both situations but there also needs to be a balance. Us humans need to feel heard and accepted. Crazy ideas included. Friends, family and boses will not always provide that.

For every personal truth spoken out there in the world, there is a group of people wanting to hear it and learn it. Find those people, and speak your truth. Don’t ever stop sharing your ideas.

What is your truth? Where is your platform? Who is your audience?

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