My to do list on my new favorite app (workflowy.com) gets longer every day. I’m in the middle of re-organizing my office and the piles are crazy. Not to mention the fact that it’s nearly six in the evening and I’m just getting this post written.
In other words, like most people, I have no shortage of things to do.
Today though, I haven’t managed to do much in the way of work except write this post, do a little admin and some organizing in my office.
Not a particularly productive day.
The worst part is I’m feeling really guilty about it.
I’m feeling like I should have gotten lots more done today. I wished I had. I wanted to.
The real problem is I do this every month.
Yesterday was my monthly Explore & Play Class and Coaching Hour. Every month I feel like I should just be able to work like normal the day after the class, and every month I find that I’m struggle to get much of anything done.
This time, I tried to preempt the guilt by scheduling a hair cut today. I thought a couple hours chatting with my stylist and friend, getting a hand massage and having someone else wash my hair (why does that feel so great?!) would indulge my need for a little pampering and rejuvenation.
But it turns out, it’s not enough.
Even though all signs point to it not being enough, I don’t want that to be true. I want to be able to just work like normal the afternoon after the class, the day after.
Which reminds me of some important things.
There are natural cycles.
Some on a larger scale like seasons, and some on a much smaller scale. Except it’s so easy to forget the cycles of the smaller things.
When you apply the idea of seasons to a smaller project, like my Explore & Play calls, there’s spring where the idea for a class comes to me. Then there is summer, where I tend and fertilize the idea, coming up with the things I want to cover, the points I want to make. Next is autumn, when I harvest that work and actually hold the class and coaching hour. After that is winter, time for the field to lay fallow and the farmer to rest until next spring.
Except that I always want to skip winter and jump right into the next spring. Well, it might not be so much that I want to, as I think I should. I think I shouldn’t have to rest. It was just an hour call after all.
And yet, after every one I have days like today. Days when I don’t get much done, and I feel bad about it.
One of my favorite parts of yoga classes is ending the session in savasana. One the teacher runs the rest of the practice long, and gives us only a couple of minutes in savasana, I always feel cheated.
How about a little experiment.
What would it be like if I blocked out the afternoon and the entire next day for no thinking work.
I could go enjoy my metaphorical winter with a run a ride or hike. I could just hang out at the park, meet a friend for lunch. I could head to the movies or simply lay on the couch and read as much as I wanted. I could do some magical combination of those things, as long as I’m not trying to start a new seed, or fertilize a newly planted one. (No work on projects!)
It feels so indulgent, so over the top and ridiculous to me. I should just be able to work. I have loads of work to do. I can’t just take a day and a half off like that!
Funny thing is, that’s exactly what I do, except I feel bad about it.
You can only go sledding in the winter.
By planning it, I’m hoping to relieve my guilt about needing and taking the time. I’m also willing to be surprised. Perhaps planning it will yield some sweetness, some insights, that only come when you’re quiet and not trying so hard to be productive.
How about you?
Do you allow yourself time to rejuvenate after you complete something?
If you don’t, try starting with just a small planned rest, and notice what it’s like for you.
If you do, I’d love to hear how you rest, and if you have any tips to make it easier.