A Wrinkle in Time: Working in Abundance

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I sometimes think that if I work more, I’ll get more done.

Makes sense, right?

But there’s some sort of universal law that accounts for bends and folds in the fabric of time that defies my logic.

The thing is, when all I do is work, the outcome is stress, which limits my ability to get the work done.

When I stop to make a nurturing meal, the fuel my body and brain gets makes my work better.

When I interrupt my day for yoga, the physical and mental stretch I get makes my work more limber.

When I hang out with a friend, the charge I get powers my work later on.

When I set aside time for my partner, I get a partner in return and remember that I don’t have to do it all by myself.

When I chill out and watch Hulu, my brain gets creative rest so it can do more later.

When I read a book, I stock the well with images and words and get to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

When I don’t do these things, when I’m “too busy” for my health, I create more time to work, but I deny the conditions that help me work at my best.

It’s working in deprivation.

Do I want to work in deprivation, or do I want to work in abundance?

Well, heck. I’ll take abundance!

How do you set yourself up to work in deprivation? What simple changes could you make to work in abundance?

Gathering light,

8 thoughts on “A Wrinkle in Time: Working in Abundance

  1. I’ve fallen into an effective rhythm where I keep to “normal” business hours, working 9am to 5pm, and then heading home to spend the night with hubby, our kitty, making a healthy dinner and doing things I love – making things that I don’t want to sell but keep, things for our home. This works well, because it means I re-energize every night for the following day of work. So I think I manage my time quite well, keeping my working hours identical to those of my husband who works full time. The disadvantage of this is that I’m sometimes not at the studio when I feel really inspired outside of ‘studio hours’. Then I need to settle with creating with my limited materials at home, or draw planning sketches or make notes to revisit the idea when I’m at the studio.

    The way that I DO set myself up for working in deprivation is that I say “yes” to too many projects and commitments, and then the studio time I have is spent doing work for clients and other people. This means that I end up neglecting my own work – new series of works for exhibitions and/or my next performance art piece for an arts festival. And this makes me feel unfulfilled and frustrated. I really struggle to say “no”, but need to learn how to prioritize and not commit to things that does not contribute to my vision as an artist. There is simply not enough time to please everyone!

  2. Laura, Yes. I was talking with a friend about this this weekend. We all need creative fuel: breaks, outlets, healthy food, exercise, fun, friends. I particularly have found that I need walks, quiet, short vacations, time to explore and down time with my husband to fuel up.

    I think I’m often deprived when I say yes to too many things and refuse to say no to things I may have already said yes to. I have a tendency to say yes and then get overwhelmed but then think I will disappoint if I don’t stick to my commitments. But sometimes I just have to back out and deal with others being frustrated with me and then learn from that to say no more easily next time.

  3. I so agree. I have put a kabosh on working late into the night for just this reason. If I am tired I am slower, make more mistakes and generally do bad work. so the time saved by skipping sleep is wasted and I feel awful on top of it.
    Thanks for the reminder as we head into the season of overwork!

  4. When I need time to relax, I stop what I’m doing and just sit down. Whether it’s at the kitchen table or on the couch. I take to time to let all my stress go and just breathe. Breathing deeply really works.

    1. I very much agree with Wendelyn, that just sitting down or lying down for 5-10 minutes can really help. It brings your stress hormones down. This summer, I burnt out from overworking, and it led to adrenal fatigue.
      The recovery was miserable, but it taught me that I never want to go through that again (worst summer ever). So now I’m very careful with not over-burdening myself. However, it is still really difficult, since I love seeing my goals/lists completed. I feel like I have 2 women in my head constantly arguing.

  5. LOVE this perspective. It reminds me of the winter coat story. I’m going to write it down and put it up where I can see it regularly!

    I’d say one way to work in deprivation is to feel guilty for taking the time to do the things that feel good when you ‘should’ be working. That’s why I like the way you reframed each thing in an abundance mindset.

  6. I used to think if I wasn’t working or studying all day everyday then I wasn’t being productive. I’ve only recently learnt the importance of balance, and by doing other things and having hobbies it improves my productivity.
    I have discovered the importance almost to get more done do more, but ‘doing’ things can also be exercise, breaks and relaxing moments.

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