Challenge Work Vacuum
Do you want to test out a Work Vacuum without taking a vacation? Take a 30-day diet of no TV, movies or box sets, no news media of any kind, no social media or magazines, no reading, no networking, no drinking alcohol and no socialising or networking. I would encourage you to throw in a couple of silent days each week while you’re at it. This will heighten your sensitivity to your inner voice.
Reading non-fiction self-development books is allowed but a maximum of only one hour a day. No eating or drinking non-alcoholic drinks more than you normally would to placate any feelings that come up during the challenge.
Make a promise to yourself to journal and take notes about your experience, your thoughts, emotions, as and when they come up, noting the time of day. Elaborate on your findings when you feel the urge, see where your thoughts will take you and what emotions come up as you write. Look out for recurring patterns in your behaviour.
Beware. This part of you has very likely been drowned out and neglected for the most part of your life by mild or extreme workaholism. Don’t be surprised if this aspect of you isn’t best pleased that you’ve suddenly decided to start listening to it after ignoring it for so long.
From time to time engage in writing, singing, dancing, and drawing, sketching or playing a musical instrument, something that you’re already reasonably adept at. Do this only when you’re inspired. Don’t do this to combat boredom or frustration.
This is not to learn how to do these activities. Picking up something new in this context is a distraction from your feelings and thoughts. Use the time to do what you are creatively or instinctively drawn to in the moment.
It doesn’t matter if these creative outlets aren’t your thing. We all write in some form so fall back to journalling as your daily ritual and moment by moment witness to your thoughts, feelings, emotions, resistance, reactions, triggers, habits and behaviours regardless of whether you deem them negative, neutral or positive.
Be sure to track your time and the detail of the work you have been carrying out and Why. Remember a Why can be as simple as ‘because my boss asked me to’ or ‘I need the money’ or it can be as deep and meaningful as ‘this is an important project, I’m learning, I’m giving and am excited to see it come to life and help people!’
This also counts for personal ‘Non-Work’ projects or creative moments you start or continue while experimenting and trying out this mini Work Vacuum you’ve created by rising to this challenge.
Who is happier and more purposeful? The bricklayer who when asked what he’s doing replies ‘Laying bricks.’ Or the one who responds ‘Building a cathedral.’? None would argue the latter’s Why is more powerful both to him and to others.
You’ll be amazed after 30 days how much time you have available to live and work more creatively. Whether you realise and appreciate it or not you have kickstarted your Creative Feeling and enhanced your Creative Thinking in the process.
Welcome to the Creative Loop.
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