#YourTurnChallenge #Day2 – The Elusive Flow

Day 2 of the challenge, post can be found here: http://yourturnchallenge.tumblr.com/post/108636222910/the-elusive-flow

[For the purpose of reposting, I have deliberately not looked at the grammar mistakes. Because excessive editting is my way of stalling the final product, which defeats the purpose of this challenge.]

The nature of my work, outside blogging, involves some creative thinking, space to write and strategize, ability to produce different types of writing and messaging. A fair amount of time is also spent “firefighting” – urgent issues that come up, problem solving, responding to various processes. Back home, there are two young children – enough said.

Coming into the year 2015, when I look to develop more of my work and creativity, there remains the big question of how do I find that (somewhat elusive now) state of flow. The state of flow where ideas come easily, writing happens at hours on end and progress is actually made from milestone to milestone.

I’m still experimenting on getting in touch quickly with a state of flow but it boils down to a few points for me, alternating between work meetings, corporate requirements, home needs and my own interests in blogging & reading:
◦What I love: I know I love reading and writing, yet it becomes really easy to think that other seemingly urgent activities take priority. Surprisingly, it took something like a challenge like this #YourTurnChallenge – for me to start doing daily writing. In doing so, getting into the flow while engaged in other activities seem easier. I guess on some level, I begin to feel that everyday I am doing something I love – so there is always something to look forward to.
◦What I expect: So I don’t have block of hours of end, at least based on where my current commitments are. The state of flow does not need to exist only for big blocks of time – sticking to what I expect sometimes creates boundaries that limit my ability to experience.
◦What I let go: The state of flow, as it suggests, requires some flow and movement. Things don’t move if I hold on to too much in my life – excess commitments, excess ideas about what an outcome has to look like, excess activities that can be delegated. Flow doesn’t happen when we drag our feet – weighing the tonne of clutter we strap on to ourselves.

At the end of the day, there were no intuitive steps 1, 2, 3 etc…to get to the state of flow. A lot of times, it remains elusive. But by experimenting, testing what works, I begin to listen to my inner self, become aware of my responses, notice my distractions and then slowly understand … that the state of flow isn’t just bestowed to me like an elusive gift, it is created intentionally by each concious step I take.

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#YourTurnChallenge #Day1 – I lost my post

No, really, I did lose my post. It was the first day post, I was psyched to group all of them together to write about my learnings in the process and that one post that I couldn’t find really stalled all my other processes. (To clarify, it’s not about the post not being there, but my inability to search for the posts on Tumblr. It didn’t help that I couldn’t remember the title of my first point.)

Needless to say, I learnt a bunch of things just from that one experiment:
1. Save your work
Probably the most common sense thing sometimes eludes us. I always figured out that I could “do something later”, or “look at it later”. When it would have been two seconds to copy and paste the post in a document so that I can use it later for this blog. What they say about a stitch in time…well, they were right.

2. One hiccup really doesn’t stall the whole project
I delayed posting anything about my learnings or just posting all the other posts on this LMM blog because I couldn’t find Day 1’s post. It was Day 1, the start of the 7 day thread so it didn’t make sense to post the rest. It wasn’t right, because I’m not posting in order. If I couldn’t find the Day 1 post, everything else had to stop. Or not. We sometimes are quick to pull the plug, and less quick to step back, think: “maybe I can still make this way, just in a different way.”

3. Remember to applaud all efforts
I did the experiment. Shipped everyday, typed 7 posts out just as I had declared. The truth of the matter is I came up to alot of self-doubt, procrastination habits and the whole process (in one week no less) made a lot of this self-defeating habits come to light. Now that I am more aware, I can work on them. All in all, while I beat myself up on losing one day’s post to the cyber-ethers, I forget to applaud myself for all seven.

So Day 2 – 7 posts are next to come.