Why do your routine tasks get priority over your creative ideas? | My backyard

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2022-09-22 11:30:28

This post is inspired by this article about puddle theory and this podcast led me to it. I would highly recommend giving time to both if you could.

The poet Mary Oliver once wrote, "The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time." But why is it so difficult to give power and time to the things that we want to do?

The answer is because it's easier to attend to something that has a deadline, than to do something limitless and unstructured. It can also be more daunting to attend to the things we feel confident doing, than to the things we are unsure about.

A way to overcome this is to divide overwhelming tasks and take things smallest step by smallest step. This theory is named puddle theory. Start by making a list of your tasks, and then break them into the smallest tasks possible. Then, assign them to small pockets of time, typically 45 minutes. It’s important to tell yourself only to focus on one puddle at a time and be open to what happens next. Taking breaks between puddles is also important to refresh and sustain momentum.

I started this blog, which is my start to something new and how I made it possible is by following these two rules. The first rule is that this is not a "have to do" but a "maybe do" thing. There are no short-term commitments. This could be my last post. And the second rule is that there is no end goal or objective. There are no long-term commitments. No targets, no expectations, no plans. This eliminates all the reasons for failing. It is important to protect yourself from the fear and guilt of failure because being creative is like driving in the middle of a dark forest with no road and no direction.

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