(Reflections from an ongoing journey to make the perfect to-do list)
So there is this blogger's void, appearing out of nowhere and boggling down any desire to go near our blogs and write something. As the issue becomes increasingly frequent and extended, we increasingly start our blog posts with excuses for not blogging.
The root cause is obviously a persistent lack of that creative trigger. We can try scribbling down a note to make a blog post, in our to-do list. And we can comfortably end up writing another post opening up with the excuses. This is a fundamental error in our planning. What we actually need to note down in the to-do list is just some free time. Yes, exactly without a purpose. Just a chunk of sloppy time 'scheduled' in your busy day.
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We can safely assume that majority of the people here are good at taking quick showers. This is an art that I haven't got a clue about.
I am always criticized for taking so much time for a shower. If I am to take a so called quick shower, I will have to concentrate all my will power and energy and brain signals solely on the act of taking a shower. And that sounds like a lot of effort, doesn't it?
In almost all the cases, I can only remember upto a few seconds after opening the shower. Then I get carried away in thoughts. When consciousness is regained, I wouldn't have the slightest hint as to how much time has passed by. In many cases, I can't remember whether I have touched the soap yet, and will have to do everything all over again. Worse, sometimes I can't remember how many times I have been repeating.
It is a well recognized fact that ideas can happen a lot under the shower. The first ever comic published on et On Fire is titled Thinking Under the Shower. There was this idea, born under a cold shower, and drawing a comic was the only way I found to communicate this idea. Thanks to the shower, now the comic is running well and fine with lot more entries.
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Resuming the first paragraph: You can as well take more showers, and you might actually get over the blogger's void. Same goes with an afternoon nap. Same with a few minutes that you will allocate in your day, labelled with no specific task.
Even though a to-do list is a symbol of great planning, something which makes each minute of the day constructive, a perfect to-do list should contain a certain amount of scheduled 'sloppiness', so to speak. Especially in the modern world - overwhelmed with information overload, always projecting more and more things to learn at us - where wasting a few hours doing nothing can appear like a big loss for people who dream big.
The last sentence brings us to a paradox when we come to the next topic, which is - yes, none other than - facebook.
Latest observations by researchers about the eternal question of "Why we're unable to sign out of facebook (even though the logout link is right there)?" while not failing to check their own status updates every minute, is that it is one of the easiest way available today to feel important. And who wouldn't like to feel important? Even better if that's happening subconsciously, eh?
There is a boost in our inner self when we see a Like for our most unexpected status, or a positive comment on a photo we accidentally uploaded. This effortless way of feeling 'Liked' is what glues our mind on to the Wall, writes the scientist on his facebook page. This comes in a number of derived phenomena.
See Miss.K's post on FOMO. (And meet Nim, one who is apparently feeling so content with her real life that she's NOT on facebook) :)
Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
What we miss in our run to fill every minute gobbling up as much of information, effortfully finishing up the movies and books known to be the best, or virtually 'feeling important', is our spontaneity. It is what some people partially get a glimpse of in their showers. In the present world, when we're eager to make sure any minute is not wasted, we really got to write down empty blocks of time in our to-do list. Let yourself be clueless at that time, let yourself sit and look out of the window, but don't try to think of pending works to fill that time with.
Even the most entertaining activity, when done regularly, gets slowly hardwired into our mind. This kind of getting used to is a block on creativity. Don't be blindly strict about following your schedule every single day. When a great idea appears to be boiling up inside, give it a chance and some time. You can gain information at will, we have all the technology for that. But when shall it get processed to something entirely original, is spontaneous. And this probably wouldn't happen so much if we're trying to push more and more spontaneity out of the way.
It is great if you're making good use of your time, but learn to love the occasional sloppiness that comes your way. If it is not happening, have the heart to create it once in a while. :)