The Constant Struggle: Staying on Task

It’s funny how we idealize potential situations. It’s the classic “The grass is always greener” thing. I would sit at my desk in New York, for HOURS, saying, “Man, if only I didn’t have to do this stupid job, I would have the time to do EVERYTHING else that I wanted to do.” I fantasized about getting this role, as if every day were thirty hours long in California, and you only have to sleep for two hours, and you wake up refreshed.

Well, I do love California, and I certainly do have more time here to do what I choose… but then, what do I choose to do? As usual, I fill up my plate like I was breaking a month-long fast at a buffet in Reno. When you’re filling up your plate, you forget that you still have to carry it back to your table. No matter how good your balance is, you’re going to drop a chicken finger or two, and you’re going to get some sort of sauce on your hands and/or shoes. Once it’s at your table you eat as much as you can, but your stomach can only be stretched so far.

Have I worn out this metaphor yet?

Dreams are like a dessert cart… (I kid, I kid).

Yesterday, there were four big things that I wanted to get done, and, at the time, they all seemed very important. I’d start one, feel like I was shirking responsibility by ignoring the other three, then go to start on another. Repeat ad nauseum. By the time I had to leave for rehearsal, I had essentially accomplished nothing, besides frustrating myself.

Days like that are tough, but they can serve as a good reminder. It’s a sign that you’ve been getting ahead of yourself. Einstein said, “I can only do two things at a time,” and Einstein was a whole lot smarter than I am. So I think the ONE thing at a time approach is what’s required. Babysteps. When you set your goals really high, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re standing on the ground, looking up at them, towering above you. Babysteps. You can only climb one peak at a time.

Also, sitting there, mucking around on the internet is not going to help things. Inspiration is not going to come flying to you that way. That’s just clutter. You’ve got to make some space for inspiration, and you have to ACTIVELY pursue it. It must be coaxed, lured, enticed, and yes, seduced. Don’t wait for it to come and get you; it doesn’t have a car. You’re going to have to pick her up, and you’re going to have to meet her dad. Work for it. She’s worth it.

So, get ONE thing done today. Try to prioritize it, so you’re choosing the most important thing, or at least the most pressing thing. Once you’ve got that DONE (not merely started), then see how much time/energy you have left, and start in on the next ONE thing. Build a house, brick by brick.

Such is my advice to you, and moreso, to myself. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get some(singular)thing done.


Brent 7.1.09 8.27pm

~ by 50in50 on July 1, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Constant Struggle: Staying on Task”

  1. …except for Einstein, who can climb TWO peaks at a time.

    Good post.

  2. […] All of which cracked me up. I suggest you read the full post. […]

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