Monday, May 03, 2010

new routine

After my last post about my struggles to get work done while dealing with constant interruptions, I decided it was time to step back and take a look at what I could do to mitigate some of the problems. That's how I do it: lose mind, then fix problem. It would be nice if I could deal with my problems before I have a meltdown, but I usually don't notice a problem until the red lights are flashing, the alarm bells are going off, and people are running away, screaming and waving their arms. Some call it denial, I call it supreme focus on what's in front of me.

One of the things I had to look at was my routine. I love my little routine. In fact, I'm married to it. One of the reasons why I work for myself is because I like to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Many years ago I developed a routine of getting my exercise in the morning and then starting work around noon. So civilized. But the problem with walking into the door at noon is that half the day is already gone, and I'm at my very best in the morning. By 2 pm, I feel the clock is really winding down. By 6 pm I really want to be home. So actually, it's ridiculous that I spend my best brain time at the gym. I've done it that way because then I get the exercise thing off my list for the day, and as the day goes on I get lazier and lazier about getting my heart rate up.

But, something had to give, and I decided that I could try to get into the studio first thing in the morning, before anyone else is there, and then go to the gym or yoga class later. So far, the routine is much better for me as far as getting more done with less in the way of interruptions, though I have skipped the gym a couple of times which makes me feel guilty. But, I think I can work with this new routine and perhaps someday, in the near future, be happy enough with it to marry this one, too.

The second thing I had to look at was my own self-indulgence and lack of discipline. Often, when I am working on something, I'll suddenly remember something else that I need to do and I will immediately drop the first thing and move onto the second thing. I can do this all day. I hate how it makes me feel, all scattered and nuts. So in the past couple of weeks when I find myself about to go pour molds when I'm in the middle of loading a kiln, I won't let myself do it. I wait for the logical break in whatever I'm doing, then go and do the other thing that is calling to me from across the studio. On busy days I've started making an hour by hour schedule for what I want to do that day so I'm less likely to start trimming bowls when I'm in the middle of wedging because I suddenly realize the bowls are getting too dry. I think it's called "organizing." I recommend that everyone give it a try!