Friday, February 11, 2011

Honoring our creative efforts as work

My New Year's intention is to live spaciously and that has meant, primarily, reorganizing how I use my time. I have a calendar policy and a new way to approach my to-do list. Both of them are intended to help me honor my creative efforts as work.

By that, I don't mean lumping my creative work into the burden of work, or the drudgery of tasks, or the overwhelm of too many promises made. Instead, I mean giving my creative work as much time and energy and pride of place in my calendar as my paid work gets. And while I'm not doing creative work every day (maybe some day!), I am doing creative work far more often. This week, I spent a total of 6 hours doing visual art and 3 hours writing poems in a week that had a huge stack of paid projects waiting.

Because I had honored my calendar policy (no appts on Monday and Friday and no more than two on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday), I could create some time to play.

My new to-do list helps too. I have two sets of items, Work and Self-Care, on the list, and cannot have more than 3 discrete items in each group for the day. Creative work can go in either place, depending on what it is. Writing efforts usually go under Work, since I consider myself primarily a writer. Visual art usually goes under self-care, for it helps me stay in balance. So this week, collage work showed up twice under Self-Care and writing poems showed up twice in the Work column.

It helps me make sure that this gets the priority attention that I want it to have instead of just getting stuck somewhere down the line on the master to-do list. It's a system that seems to be working well.

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