If you’re like me, you probably work a LOT. And I’m not just talking about the general 9-5 where you wear ten hats in one day. I’m talking about working that, plus having a bunch of hobbies that each require a lot of your attention. Does this sound like you or someone you might know?
What about this scenario?
Take everything from above, but add in the fact you’re really hard on yourself? Everything must be done at a certain time every week and that warning bell in your head is starting to chime.
Well, my friends, that warning bell is your “Critical Mass” level telling you to take a break. Sadly, I reached almost beyond that point this month. That annoying little bell was going off for so long that my “Critical Mass” level nearly broke. And, it was this past week that the realization hit me—I needed to say no.
What does that two-letter word have to do with the dangerous level? Most of the time, my problem is piling too many things on my plate whether it be constantly telling people at work, “Sure, I’ll get this done at some point today.” Or when I’m telling myself, “Yeah I can add one more project to my list, no big deal.” Saying, “No, I can’t do that right now” or “Nope, that idea will have to wait” is SOOOOOOO liberating!
When we reach “Critical Mass” we lose passion in our hobbies whether that be art, music, writing, (etc.) and when we lose passion, we lose interest, and when we lose interest, we can tend to become lethargic. And this can show in our work. I began to see that my hobbies and passions became more like obligatory chores and when I reached my level this week I reflected back on this month and saw my slow decline. It made me sad that I managed to get myself to that point. So, I left work a bit earlier than expected this past week and took a nap when I got home. The second I woke up, everything was so clear to me. I knew what I had to do.
“Wait…what? But how will you get anything done?”
That’s the point. Not EVERYTHING has to get done the second we think about it. I have a YouTube vlog where I review books and talk about book-related things, I read at least one book a week, I do projects for my family history, and I help people who reach out to me with book and genealogy things, and on top of it all…I’m finishing a trilogy!
But not all of these things are immediate and I feel that as an artist I get caught up in all the things I think I need to do to move my career forward. I am constantly thinking to myself that, “My fans want to see progress.”
Of course they do, but they understand I’m human too and I get burned out just like the rest. I feel it’s important as an artist, writer, and creator to take some “me” time. Do something that is non-project related, even if that means not always posting something, even if that means…taking a day to do absolutely nothing.
So, to all my artsy friends out there…you do YOU, the rest of the world will wait!