Yesterday was one of those days where I accomplished a great deal, yet by outer appearances you wouldn’t think I accomplished much at all. It was one of those days I spent tying up loose ends and answering correspondence and filling orders and getting my computer ready for a backup.
It is funny how tidying up your computer can be just as satisfying as tidying up your house. I think that people’s computers and ‘virtual worlds’ closely resemble their real world. If people are organized in their real worlds, I find that they are more likely to be so in their virtual worlds too.
We have all seen others’ work spaces – whether it be desks or shops or whatever. Some people thrive among the clutter of what they are doing around them. I have heard many times people saying “a clean shop is not a working shop” and to that I say “no, no, NO!”
While I understand we are all different and I really and truly respect that, for myself, I find it very stressful to try to work and accomplish if my environment around me isn’t clean and organized. Maybe it is because I am not as smart or talented as other ‘artists’ who work well with mess and clutter around them. I need the slate to be clean so I can focus on the task at hand without all this additional input to my brain. And that includes my cyber-world.
Lately at night, I think I mentioned that I sometimes play some computer games for a bit to unwind and relax my brain before going to bed. I find if I work late and don’t do this change of gears, I take the work to bed with me and it interferes with my sleep.
I don’t play action games, yet I like games that are more of a mental challenge to help switch my mind into a calm and thoughtful gear. Many of them are puzzle type games or ‘seek and find’ where you have to find hidden objects. I am currently playing a game called “Mystery Case Files 13th Skull” where you have an entire story to follow and many different exercises and challenges need to be done. While I don’t spend much time in any given evening playing, I do find that it shifts my mind and helps me turn off the day’s activities before attempting to go to bed. It may take me a month or more to finish, but it is nice because I can spend five minutes or an hour on it and always go back to where I was. It works for me.
Now many people may think that after working on the computer all day long, the last thing that I would want to do to relax was to be on the computer, but I don’t feel that to be the case with me. The computer is so vast and diverse that there are many other fun ways to switch gears and not feel like you are in the same place at all.
I also like doing real puzzles on the computer. Here is a link to a puzzle for you all that I made of one of my projects. If you want to go and play it, just click on the link and it will take you to the puzzle:
(By the way – on the bottom left you can click the ghost icon or picture icon to show the picture while you do the puzzle!)
I realize that everyone likes different things to relax and recharge, and this may not be for everyone. I also love my walks in our beautiful area here to clear my mind and make me feel rested. It is amazing how good just taking a half hour walk can make you feel. (Don’t bring your cell phone!)
One last thing that I want to mention is to be sure to take time to do the things you love. Last weekend I took a day ‘off’ of writing here and in my mind I decided that I wasn’t going to push myself to accomplish anything on Sunday. As a result of taking the pressure off of myself to produce, the day was relaxing and refreshing and much to my own surprise, I found that in the end I did accomplish a great deal. Just by removing the expectations from myself allowed me to do what I wanted to do and in my mind, whatever I accomplished was a bonus.
I have already decided that besides returning to taking our walks, I am going to designate Sunday my “day to do anything I wish” day. Whether it be spent painting, cooking, playing computer games or doing nothing at all, I feel that not only have I earned this time for myself, but I need it. What is the point of working hard if we don’t take time to enjoy it? I think that over the past several weeks (or months!) I have been so focused on work that I haven’t allowed myself this time off. As a result I was feeling quite stressed out and in the long run not accomplishing as much as I could have been had I felt more emotionally healthy. These things slip up on us quietly and we constantly need to be aware of them so that we can keep them in check and remember to feed our souls. I had forgotten this (as it had surely happened before!) and it was just time for me to stop and recheck myself.
So after a day of ‘cleaning up’ and getting things in order, I am ready to take on the world again today. It is a good day because I woke up really feeling excited about my work and the new things that I have in mind. While on the outside things may look the same, rest assured that I got a lot done in the past couple of days and I am ready to start things again with a clean slate and a fresh outlook.
I plan to work hard the next two days, and knowing that I have a ‘free day’ planned for Sunday gives me something to look forward to. Doing things we enjoy guilt free is something that is essential to our continuing success. We need to keep that in mind.
I hope you all have a wonderful Friday.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"