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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Learning how to relax

Fresh perspectives, fresh ideas and new starts. That's what a new year is all about. I've spent the day wondering why I am continually on the computer, busily going through my to-do lists, thinking I should try and relax. I'm staying in Bondi Beach, NSW Australia right now, up the road from the beach. I have the candle list, the incense going, some spiritual books lying around, but I can't seem to make headway with my email inbox. Every time I file an email away or delete the superfluous, more come in. So I go for a walk around the block, sit on the beach and ponder. Then I get bored, go back to my make-shift desk and go through my to-do list again. But I'm not sure I actually accomplished anything. Then again, I really want to relax. How does one relax when they are only 'trying'? The only way to truly relax is to let go of the expectations on myself to achieve and complete projects. I just have to let go. It's a hard thing when one of the tasks on my to-do list is to write everyday. I put a plan together to write a new book. The pressure is on.

Makes me think about life. We push too hard, we just don't get anywhere. You set a huge list of tasks to do, you tend to not get them done, maybe not even one of them. I think I have to simplify my objectives. The more clutter, the less I accomplish. The irony is I also am trying to relax. I want to accomplish major things in the least amount of time, and I want to relax. I want to write a whole chapter for this book, quickly, then relax. I want to plan a few shows, a tour in a certain region of the U.S for this year, and relax. I want to organize the production of one of our new artists' albums in the studio, and relax. I want to update my website, but relax. My current conundrum. Do I really know what I want? Through all this thinking about what I want to do, or in fact need to do, I end up not achieving much. Nor am I relaxing.

So, learning how to relax is a bit of an art form. Even for myself it's a challenge. It's difficult for many of us creative types because our minds are so active. Also, the pressure is on as artists this day and age to be warriors, be in control of our business, to have a "go get 'em" mentality. We always have to be on the ball, alert, thinking outside the box, strategizing, running all the affairs of our business. But, we also have to allow time to relax. It might have to be planned. Fitting relaxation time into the schedule requires discipline. It's all about time management. There is in fact time for everything. I mentioned that in my last book. Time and balance. Balancing tasks so that they get done in a day. Factoring in down time. Most artists complain they don't have time to create. We waste a lot of time procrastinating, or watching TV. Switch it off and get on with the task.

For me, I'm switching off to relax. I think I'll run and swim in the mornings and stay as far away from the compute as possible. Then I'll focus two or three hours on work (I'll even time myself) and then do some writing late afternoon. In theory, it sounds perfect. Let's see what happens!

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