We’ve all felt it somewhere. In any new craft, skill, or project, we discover a language, a way of thinking, or an entire community that has existed well before we got there.
As soon as you discover some parallel to something else in your life, something shifts and any similarities seem to have been an illusion.
I’ve been studying marketing recently, taking a class even. As I’ve gone through, the materials and the lectures outpaced me. As I would furiously and frantically take notes, I did what I could to write tasks, little reminders of what I would like to come back to.
“It’s ok,” I’d tell myself. I’ll add those little trail blazing marks, to know where I left off and come back to do… something? I didn’t always write the best worded tasks.
Thankfully, the course instructor, in asking for feedback, found that the class as a whole was falling behind the material and could use some time to catch up.
However, looking at my project and task lists, I now see a pile of ideas.
– How do I reword them?
– Do I tag them?
– What order should I put them in?
– Does it matter?
– How do I tackle this beast?!
Beyond a certain number of tasks, there can be a sense of collapse. It feels infinite. There is no end, and I don’t know where to start. I get the same feeling when learning a new piece of music, when writing a book, or taking on a large project.
A fear is that if I start to dedicate myself to any particular path, I could be wasting my time. What if there is another path that is more important or more efficient?
Well, that could always be the case. In fact, an important marker I’ve discovered is that near a project’s completion, I consistently realize that I could have saved at least half of my time had I done something differently.
But before getting anywhere near the end, we start, of course with the beginning. The irritation, the anxiety, and the confusion all blend together into a… let me check my email.
To start moving at all, it is important to first acknowledge the emotion. The overwhelm is fully there.
The better you can stay with that feeling, the better you can use it to inform you.
By simply being there, you don’t have to do any of the work. Instead, there is more of a sense of it coming to you. You can certainly optionally move something forward. In that mix, there is a greater tendency to find the play of work, where not only does the work improve, but you may even find yourself enjoy the exploration.
You find more opportunities within it and in the community.
You only need to be there with it for any of that to happen. Once you are there, you can envision where you are, where you’d like be, and some next step into the fog of creativity.
To dive into the paths of creativity and organizing a worried mind, consider Workflow Mastery: Building from the Basics.