This post is long, but it's worth it. Trust me. You don't have time NOT to read this. Reading this just might change the way you spend the rest of your life. After reading this, you may find that you end every single day with a sense of accomplishment. Truth! So here we go:
I accomplished a lot today. Much more than just one day's work. And only in the last ten minutes of my day did I feel accomplished. Here's the story:
My day began when I met with a group of artist friends. Two I had already met, one I meet with regularly, and three more I met for the first time today. We spent a couple hours getting to know each other and discussing and showing our work to each other. Very productive and lots of fun.
Next, I ran some necessary errands and accomplished everything on my list.
Then, I began working on stencil design. I designed and completed artwork and cut prototypes for three 8" X 10" stencils. No small task. It takes hours of fairly tedious work in a vector program designing each individual element so that only the lines that are to be cut are visible. Next, time is spent in placing each element in the exactly the correct space on a virtual cutting mat so that the computer will read exactly which lines to cut, where to cut them, and send this information to the cutting machine. Designing, finishing, and saving one of these files is a big accomplishment, and I completed three.
Then I answered emails, texts, and phone calls.
That's a lot for one day. A LOT! But I felt unaccomplished because I hadn't painted, drawn, worked with collage or spent time binding a book or working on an art journal page.
Now you may think that's silly. I did tons and accomplished megatons. But it isn't silly, and here's why: No one feels accomplished when the essential work of their life is left undone, even if that essential work takes facile seconds to complete, as opposed to hours of hard labour.
Here's the crux of it: Feeling accomplished cannot be measured in time or weight. It's only measure is satisfaction. Once more:
Feeling accomplished cannot be measured by time or weight. It's only measure is satisfaction.
It is never about how much we do, how long we do it, or how hard we work to get it done. A sense of accomplishment has nothing to do with these factors. Those factors are components of economy. Εκονομία in Greek: A word which has to do not only with economy of finance, but economy of everything. Economy of time, and economy of decision. What's best under any given set of circumstances. Accomplishing the job and getting it done has much to do with economy. But a sense of accomplishment has nothing to do with economy. It has everything to do with satisfaction.
So working long and hard and getting it done isn't enough. To provide satisfaction, the job must be the right job. Think for a minute. What job brings satisfaction to you?
And now fast-forward past the emails, texts, and phone calls, straight to the last ten minutes of my day. Here's what came next. I went to Google reader and perused the blogs I subscribe to. After a minute or two, I came to Kelly Kilmer's post of the day. Kelly suggested that we take ten minutes and pour it into our journals. More if we have the time and want to take it, but really, just ten.
OK. I can take ten. So I set a timer to see what would happen in ten--just ten--minutes. Did I finish a page? No. Did I get to the journaling? Not even close. Did I feel accomplished? YES! Why? Because I did one of those things that gives me satisfaction. Not all of them. I didn't draw, paint, or bind a book. But I did begin the process of collage in an art journal.
My entire day's worth of completing tasks and productivity left me empty. Ten minutes of incomplete artwork made me whole. And that's the truth.
So ask yourself, "What work gives me satisfaction?" If the answer is creative work, then you might want to take Kelly up on her challenge. To read about Kelly's ten minute challenge and join-in, click HERE.
The pic above is the first ten minutes of MYPL page 26.
Late edit: See this page in it's finished state by clicking HERE