As it's been a little over a month since I've been flying solo, there has been a few interesting learnings & tidbits in this new adventure. I know... who knew you could learn so much in just 30 days. It turns out there are a few insights, relizations and whatnot to be had. Here is four I've come to learn ( or learnt to acknowledge):

  1. Curiousity: People seem to be extra interested to know 'what I've been up to'. There are a few varieties: Some are more of the 'what did you do today?' or the 'so how's the art thing going?' Normally when I was working a conventional 9-5ver, the extent of people curiousity ended at 'how are you?' Now they aren't satisfied with 'it's good' 'fine!' or 'just been busy'. It may just be me, but people seem to want know in greater detail my actual day-to-day activity. Sometimes this feels like added pressure to provide a comprehensive list of productive & worthy activities to justify working from home. I guess that can be a good thing as I learn to battle my inner overwhelm/critic monster -- dressed as laziness. It's good to have people interested in your work, it's better to try to work any situation that has resulted from change to your advantage. Looking at it from a different perspective tends to help. Or, ask for the support or feedback that you want to have. my to do: I'm going to assume that these people are interested in a supportive & beneficial way. Even if it's just so I can practice talking about my work in a positive way. Plus, I'm going to find people who are natural encouraging fire-starters who can pick me up when I feel down.
  2. Wormholes are everywhere: It's amazing sometimes when painting that the hours will slip by, and I would have forgotten to feed or hydrate myself. Also, the variety of reading materials both online & off are dangerously becoming my time-wormholes. It's hard to let go of all the great information & resources available. I'm struggling to keep up and have come to conclusion I'll have to learn to let them go. Plus these wormholes tend to become the dress-up favourites of procrastination, which is also the mask for avoiding something scary. It's not just me right? Part of living a conscious life, is knowing your weaknesses or just general distraction monsters. There is nothing worse that feeling unproductive AND guilty because you were the cause. my to do: I'm going to keep strict reading/consuming online to just a couple hours on a couple days. Mainly the days when I just don't feel like creating & need fuel for the brain. It has been helping not being online so much the last few weeks. I've finally had the chance to do some internal thinking & reflection on my short & long term goals. I'm not as intimidated at the overwhelming amount of great work out there, plus it doesn't add to the fear of thinking I have nothing original to say. I'm going to remember that I have my own unique perspective and looking at too much of others will drown that out. Also, I'm going to be strict on my meal times too. A hungry artist is a grumpy, unproductive artist
  3. Trust your intuition: I keep getting reminded of one of the reasons why I wanted to do my own thing. To have the freedom over my own time. When I try to force myself to 'be productive' and cross off certain things off my list, I end up exhausted & any painting I do feels depressing & forced. It may be a cliche but I guess it's true for me. It's best to know yourself wells. You'll know if you're just being lazy so you should do the work, or you're just having a bad brain day and need a mental rest. Mental rest days are good to do non-thinking tasks like tweaking bits of things, house chores...whatever works for you. my to do: I'm going to work WITH my rhythms and take advantage of my productive moods and do work that I want to do. I have found that I actually end up achieving more at the end of the day.
  4. Rewards work: I've found that having little rewards have been amazing in motivation. Again, it may be a little obvious but I was surprised that even the smallest things like getting a fresh croissant from the bakery, or getting a 20 minute break to watch some tv has been great. They are the little reminders of the joys of working from home, being a master of my time and working to my productivity rhythms. Don't underestimate the power of the little rewards you can give yourself when you want a little motivation, or a little encouragement in whatever new adventure you're on. They don't have to be costly. They could be dual-purpose, be both a treat and on path to your dream goals. Get some sunshine with a short walk around the block, the fresh air can re-ignite the creative juices. Or go for a longer walk to the local shops (healthy) and get yourself a little pastry treat (extra mini reward). Even just a 5 minute break to read something online can also be a nice reward, or some online window shopping? I've found being allowed a day of just doing light house chores or go for a walk & a couple hours of catching up on tv shows resulted in more productive evenings or the rest of the week.It feels win-win because I got to relish in the freedom (mental health), finished chores that would have been at the back of my mind (mental & physical health) plus it re-fuels my desire to do more 'productive' work. my to do: I'm going to keep giving myself little rewards, and discover new ways to find dual purpose rewards. That may require a perspective shift: exercise = fun? I hope so.
{images by Sashe Studio} what do you think of my works in progress?

{images by Sashe Studio} what do you think of my works in progress?

What do you think of the lessons?

Do they spark any ideas or insights on the way you work or what stops you from doing the work you want to do?

Any suggestions or ideas to add to my to dos ? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks muchly & speak soon!

Madison Whiteneck