Focus On The Work, Not The Clock

The alternative subject line for today’s email was, help, I live with a small dragon.

My dog, Obi, has a pretty robust hoarding habit, snorts like a dragon many times his size, and he does a little celebration dance every time he gets a new treat or treasure to add to his stash.

Then once he’s done his little waggle and put his mouth all over the thing, he gets in a tizzy.

Do I eat it? Do I hide it? Can I eat it and hide it?

Then he starts waggling again. We’ve started to call it brain-break-dancing, because he just can’t handle how GOOD this thing is and the horrible paradox of wanting to enjoy it now and to be able to enjoy it later.

They say you get the dog you need, and , I believe it.

I can completely relate to his dilemma. I feel the same way when I have time to write my own material.

I love the feeling of getting immersed in the work, and then I panic that I’m not going to have enough time, or that maybe instead of writing right now, I should try to cram all my other tasks into this time, so that I can have more time to write later.

This is some brain-break-dancing of my own. Instead of just enjoying something that is not going to last forever, I talk myself out of any enjoyment at all, precisely because it’s not going to last forever.

This is bonkers, so I’m working on just chilling out a bit, you know? Instead of making every moment so intense and weighty, I’m trying to just appreciate the moments I do have to write.

And, as it turns out, those moments tend to extend themselves when I’m not trying to strangle them to death.

Focusing on the work, instead of the clock counting down, makes for much more creative, interesting and ultimately productive sessions.

It’s a practice. It’s slow going, learning how to just be present and to be grateful for any generative time at all. Have you figured this out? I’d love to hear how you do it.