(Pop Culture by James Clar. The artist took this gun, shot a single bullet at an issue of Art Review and cast the gun in candy.)
On Thursday I woke up with a feeling of dread and anxiety… I took my daughter to school, put my son in for a nap and tried to write a blog post. I don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure it was crappy. Then I geared up for a day of hyper-scheduled activity. The way I’d planned the day, I would be bouncing all over Manhattan until 6 PM. I freaked. I panicked. A sense of gloom washed over me. I looked at my inbox. I had 873 unread messages. Then I looked at my schedule. What was I killing myself for? Pseudo appointments. Blogging is a business with a lot of tweet ups, come to my showroom press previews, lets get together for a lunches, and lets collaborate on somethings… I’m not going to say these things aren’t important, they are. But none of it was actually that serious… and it was stressing me the hell out. The potential gain was not equal to the level of nervous that it was making me. (It’s not always BS like that, its usually actual work thats bogging me down, but the basic problem is that I overcommit myself!)
(Iron Fist, by James Clar. A giant chrome fist sits on top of a screen that continuously scrolls flags from different countries. The fist is enclosed in a reflective mirror box, causing the colors and shapes from the flags to wrap around the fist.)
So I did three things that I’m going to try to do more often.
1. I cancelled all meetings that weren’t highly important. As in: ALL OF THEM (except my daughters dentist apt).
2. I turned off the email on my cell phone. I can explain: As much as I love my iPhone, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m addicted to it, and that the constant possibility of emails interrupting everything I am doing all the time is distinctly lowering my quality of life. The iPhone, or rather, the way I misuse it, has spoiled that feeling of being present in your own life.
3. I went for a run (outdoors- not on a treadmill) and then took my son and met my husband for a nice lunch. (It was his birthday.)
Problem solved, anxiety lifted. But this is short term, I need to make some serious structural changes to my life and learn how to manage my time better.
(Circle Square by James Clar. Circular light cast in a resin square. The florescent light creates a clean circle until it enters the resin square, which causes the line to blur. Two basic shapes made from two different mediums and the interaction between them.)
Anyone have any tips?
My friend Adele writes a blog about striving toward living a minimal lifestyle and she taught me about OHIO: Only Handle It Once. Meaning when you get your mail, emails etc… you decide what to do with it that very second, istead of putting it into yet another pile of crap to deal with later.
I need more tips like this on time management!
How do you guys get organized and not let the constant stream of TO DO’s crowd your brain and make life less enjoyable?!? I mean, the reason I CHOOSE to do jobs like blogging, painting, decorating is BECAUSE it’s a non- 9-5 activity where I can make my own schedule, be with my kids and MOST OF ALL, because I LOVE IT!!!! I’m angry at myself for letting it get to this level of overcommitted and stressed. Its bad, and I need to decompress.
Tips? How do you working mothers, stay at home moms (because running a household and being a mom is so much freaking work its scary! For me, working is actually easier than being a mother/wife!) general business people and successful human beings do it?
(I chose the work of artist James Clar to accompany this post because his work really seems to relate to the feelings of modern anxiety that I’m having. Photos and more info HERE.)