On occasion I find myself in a place where I am going nowhere fast. This is when my brain is cluttered with too much Junk. You know what I mean, the stuff you are already working on, bills to be paid on time, meetings to attend; the worst of them all, thousands of ideas for another project and the phone is ringing. Your brain is so cluttered with all of these ideas and facts that it seems to go into stall mode. This is very much like when your computer freezes up for some reason and just blinks at you.
Like your computer sometimes the only solution is to shut it down and reboot it up. If only it was that simple to do with our brain. Unfortunately we have to do the same process but in a different way and that is what I like to refer to as a Pajama Day. A day when you do basically nothing but relax, of course you don’t have to be in your pajamas you could wear whatever suits your mood. Another way of looking at it is playing “Hooky” or “Skipping School” whatever you call it the idea is you take a one day vacation from your life.
You don’t have to stay at home but I would recommend that if you go somewhere go where no one will find you, leave your phone at home or in the car and only call back those that are leaving life and death messages. Change your answer machine to say you are out of town or in meetings all day and will be checking your messages later and will only reply to emergency calls. It is okay to not be available to everyone’s whims for a day once in a while.
Our society has made it almost impossible to be alone with our thoughts. Smart phones and tablets computers have taken away our ability to leave the office at the office. We are too available to people who want to talk to us and that gives us no time to sit quietly and reflect on our Art and our life. This down time is essential to the Artist’s ability to be creative because when those thousands of ideas flood our brain we need to sit quietly and look at them and put them into some kind of order.
Ideally one day a week for down time would be our goal, however if we can’t guarantee that to our schedule then look at small amounts of time in the morning or evening and then perhaps a day a month. I know many artists who wake up early in the morning and sit with a coffee and write down their ideas and things to do. They believe that this helps them to sort out priorities and to capture their ideas for projects before they are lost in the clutter of their brain. Others believe in meditation. They spend twenty minutes once or twice a day to help their minds to focus on clearing the junk away. Of course both of these require discipline of which I am not very good at so that is why, if you are like me, I advocate for the Pajama Day method.
Whatever your solution the important thing is to take time to relax your mind and sort out what you should to do from what others want you to do. Take time to look at all your great ideas for your art and give them the consideration they deserve. Take time to go for a walk and smell the flowers and by the way don’t forget to wear your slippers.