Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Attacking the never-ending "to do" list

I'm a "to-do" list person. I have lists on my computer sticky notes. I have lists in my notebook. I have lists in my BlackBerry. Do this. Do that. Don't forget that. Don't forget this. And, of course, I shuffle and hussle and most things don't get done.

To me, everything is a "to-do" item. I learned once that if you put things on your "to-do" list that you know you'll actually do and can cross off, it'll make you feel like you accomplish things during the course of the day. Like blogging today. I know I'm going to do it, so "blog" goes on the list because I know I'll cross it off. But where's the prioritization?

That's the problem with me...I'm a reactionist, if that's even a word. I react to what I need to do at that moment, or where my monkey mind (a Buddhist term meaning "unsettled") thoughts take me. You know, those random thoughts that come to you during the day that you have to stop everything to Google the information before you lose the train of thought.

Okay...maybe that's a 44 year old thing. LOL!!

In my attempt to become more organized, less reactionist, and less of a do-it-at-the-last-minute person, I read a fantastic book called THE WAR OF ART: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. It's a brilliant book that's changed my life.

It talks about what keeps us from our art is Resistance. Resistance is anything that keeps us from our art. Resistance comes in many forms. Resistance is there to keep us from reaching our potential and seeing our dreams fulfilled. Resistance is self-doubt, procrastination, focusing on the wrong things, getting involved in television shows, online games, Facebooking, or anything else that keeps your attention away from your art. It takes the form of your relationship, your friendships, your job, your chores, anything. It's evil and you have to overcome it. Resistance keeps you from your artistic potential.

So, for me, my goal in 2011 is to beat the crap to of Resistance. For me, that includes not wasting time, not getting sucked into online dramas on Facebook, or spending way too much time trying to beat my high score in Bejeweled Blitz. I will stick to the "to-do" lists...doing what is IMPORTANT and not what is URGENT (as the book recommends) and focusing on my art. Manuscripts, proposals, new ideas, new characters, new words. That's what matters.

What is keeping you from your art? What is your Resistance?

Marley = )

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TinaFerraro said...

Great blog about getting past resistance, Marley! Facebook is definitely a major time-suck for me, and sometimes when I finally get off, I want to do anything BUT stare at the computer some more. So what I need to do (more of) at that point is print and read pages I've already written to get back into the head...not something totally different, as I have been known to do...

Unknown said...

OH MY GOD BeJeweled 3. I just got it, and um, I am loving Diamond Mine and Butterflies. It's bad. So bad. But oh so fun.

Marley Gibson said...

Ronni...I'm obsessing over the poker and the lightning round. I'm seriously going to have to uninstall it from my computer!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Sounds like I better not buy Bejewled 3. I have enough trouble resisting spider solitaire.

nymfaux said...

Is it bad that I totally just tried to click on the Bejeweled picture?--so yeah, I guess I would say I have "resistance" issues.

I've never felt so "ADD" before, but if I don't have a deadline, I get distracted by EVERYTHING--checking back and forth between different pages and my email, and blogs...And then every so often I want something to eat, and since food doesn't magically appear, I have to go make I said...EVERYTHING. --If it's for ME--if it's for someone else, then all of a sudden I can focus.