Planning to do nothingon April 26, 2011 at 10:00 am
Over the last year, I have had to dial back my efforts in many aspects of my life. The problem was that I had stuffed too much into my days. And, when something came up, my whole schedule got out of whack. Basically, I allowed no time for emergencies. In fact, I didn’t really allow time for rest.
That worked for a little while, then my life started to fall apart. There’s no balance in a schedule that’s jam-packed with work all day, every week. I had to cut back.
I have heard – and I have noted in a previous blog – that the secret to doing more is to do less. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that. But strangely, it works. Yet it doesn’t work the way we think it would. When I was working all day, I was producing more, but the product wasn’t as good. When I dropped down from seven comics a week to five, the quality improved. Then I dropped down from five to three and the quality improved even more. Now I’m at two a week and I’m seeing an improvement in writing and art.
Most importantly, I’ve allowed time to do nothing and I’m at peace.
I have also cut back/discontinued/tabled other projects I had going on. I look back at what I used to produce and what I produce now and I wonder how I ever did it. Then again, I was feeling drained all the time.
Something wonderful happens when we plan to do nothing: suddenly pockets of time to spend with other people are made available. Just the other night, I called up a buddy of mine to see if he wanted to get some exercise. The old me would have seen the time walking and hanging out as a comprimise to my work. Now I’ve come to the realization that the time spent with my friend was worth far more than any additional work I could have done.
The world won’t notice that I haven’t drawn another comic but, if I wasn’t spending time with people, sometimes doing nothing, I would notice it.
I’m glad I didn’t get too into my work at the expense of my friendships. No amount of success is worth that.