Do you ever have days where you’re desperately in search of the Muse and you can’t seem to get any of the things done that you know you need to? Sometimes I have days where I get incredible amounts of stuff done; days where it seems the start line up perfectly and I’m churning out great content and fantastic ideas like there’s no tomorrow; fays where it seems like there’s nothing I can’t do, and everything falls into place perfectly.
And then there are days where I can’t think of anything to write about, and can’t get a single useful sentence down; days where I struggle to get anything done at all and can’t figure out why; days where I fight myself trying to stay on track and focused on taking those all-important daily steps towards my dreams and goals; days where the flavour of the day is overwhelming frustration, with a generous sprinkling of guilt thrown in for good measure.
It’s the difference between inspired action and forced action, of course. I love that feeling of being in the zone, of flying through my “to-do” lists and generating amazing content at lightning speed. I love the days where I get more done in four hours than I’ve gotten done in the previous four days put together. It’s incredible. And on those other days I struggle. Why is it so damned hard to stay in that zone? Why can’t I keep myself there? Why can’t I figure out how to launch myself into that slipstream at will? What am I doing wrong?
None of which helps, of course. You can’t force inspired action. But how I wish I could. Inspiration is such a fickle thing sometimes. When you’re in search of the Muse she’s almost impossible to find; like a butterfly, the harder you chase her, the more elusive she is. But if you sit quietly and wait patiently, she might just come to you.
Saturday was one of those days for me. I had the day to myself and should have been working my little tail off creating content for my website and podcast or working on writing my book. The house was quiet, the kids were away, and I had the whole day to Get Stuff Done. But I could not focus for the life of me. And this was especially frustrating because my content development and posting had been messed up for a full two months by that point and I really needed to get back into the swing of things!
So I gave up.
I picked up a book and read. I listened to music. I worked out. I went binge-pinning on Pinterest. I deliberately took the night off and watched a movie. And I got nothing “useful” done at all.
Sunday morning I slept late. I didn’t get up until quarter to eight. When I finally rolled out of bed, I made some coffee and then I popped into a Facebook group I belong to. I updated my social media feeds. And hit Pinterest again for a bit. And I didn’t start doing any real work until about 9:00. At which point I discovered that my Muse had returned… and by 11:00 I had already written three articles for my blog.
Next time I find myself in search of the Muse, fighting to keep myself focused on the task at hand, I’m planning to deliberately give myself permission to goof off and go do something fun. A day spent doing nothing “useful” followed by a morning of inspired action gets me a lot further towards my dreams than ongoing days of guilt, frustration and forced action that goes nowhere. And maybe the fun stuff is more useful than I’ve been giving it credit for, even for those of us with businesses to build.
photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo