Thinking Out Loud

The Place For Anticipation In Business

Why do we put ourselves through mental and physical stress (mostly sleep deprivation) for the sake of our hobby?

I am just over a week away from one of my most intense competition periods in floral art (flower arranging). I’ve had two and a half months to prepare and now the rubber is hitting the road. To put you in the picture, by the end of the 2 week competition, I will have presented 38 designs for judging and driven over 2,100kms to do this.

I am not alone. The stalwarts of this competition are collectively known as The Tragics – a title we wear with pride.
So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through mental and physical stress (mostly sleep deprivation) for the sake of our hobby? Its the anticipation….. The adrenaline charge of a creative thought being turned into a work of art using plant material.

How can we get that same charge with the work we do? Well, some people do because they have a passion for their line of work. Others see work as a personal challenge they need to address. For me, the system that works is to approach my working days the way I would this two week competition. I have free time, buffer time and focus time.

For example – today has been buffer time. I worked on the supporting structure for one of my designs, answered emails and did some outstanding paperwork for the business. Tomorrow will be focus time. I have a set plan of activities that require my undivided attention and I will work on those exclusively – no distractions, no emails etc. The next day will be free time – I might just have a walk around the lake (that’s where the office is), read some non business literature, cook, meditate, see a movie….you get the picture.

Using this system has actually increased my productivity. I get things done rather than stretch things to fill every day and leaving the hard tasks until I have “clear time”. A word of warning though. The free day is hard if you are used to doing some work every day. You need to plan what you are going to do otherwise it will feel like a wasted day because you haven’t done any work or you will let some work sneak in!!

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