Some Small Illumination

I want to talk about one of the things that I struggle with–being productive during the week doing things not directly related to teaching and performing. Things like doing marketing and development for my teaching practice and networking for my performance practice.

My personality type is one where I have no lack of ideas to work on. Getting new ideas has never been a struggle. Following through on these ideas–now that’s another story. I’m much-less-good at that (OK, I suck at that).


And having no lack of ideas means that I often try to take on too many of them at a time. So, the way I manage my time typically is that I scramble trying to keep my head above water when I’m super-busy and over-booked, and afterwards I ‘crash’ when I’m in between these busy seasons.

The work that needs to done that’s not directly related to actual teaching and playing (the development and networking I mentioned before), tends to fall by the wayside all the time. During the busy periods I’m too busy and during the down periods I’m ‘busy’ crashing.

This is not to make excuses, just explaining how things happen with me.

So, the other day I got an email newsletter/blog post from someone I really admire–Scott Dinsmore–talking about a process to address this weakness of mine. This is about structuring your day and finding time to do things that are truly important to you.

And reading this was like having a life raft being thrown down to me while drowning. It was like, “that could help–that could work, yes!” (If you want to see the details of Scott’s process, check it out here.)

But really, the big idea here is nothing more than this: when you’re struggling, get help from someone else. Especially for someone like me because this is not my natural way of thinking or operating.

One of the drawbacks of me being so prolific with ideas is my assumption that I can do it all by myself. And while that might be true in some cases, the bigger truth is that I’ll be a much happier human being if I get help from others. All I have to do is reach out and acknowledge that getting help from someone else is not a weakness, but can take me to a position of strength.

And, when I reach out to someone else, it helps me realize that no one has all the answers and we’re all struggling with the same issues. And that’s good too–that realization can energize me and get me moving down the path once again. Which is all I need at those feeling-down-on-yourself moments: some small illumination of the path forward and a nudge to get me going.

The best part of all of this–it allows me to relax more, to enjoy the day more, to stay in the moment (which is my real goal today and always).

So then…what part of your life is nagging at you? What can you to quiet that nagging and deal with it in a healthy way?


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