I suffer from what Belsky describes in his book “Making Ideas Happen” as pure idea intoxication. I find it extremely difficult to stop the flow of ideas in favor of pushing forward the ones that are life-giving, employing all the resonance that I have as a creative professional. I have resonated inordinately with so many of the concepts he discusses, and am at danger of plowing through the entirety of the book in one sitting.
It is gratifying to know that a lot of the project management structures that I have in place mimic the suggestions Belsky outlines in his Action, Backburner, and Reference system. Project management for me has never been much of an issue. I typically enjoy creating reference items and a file name convention that makes sense. The problem becomes when I need to get things I’ve written down into a form that I can grasp. Project management softwares such as Slack and Trello have made it really easy to get on board with myself, my husband, and with a team. They’re also very pretty to look at, and so I’ve resonated with his note about how the means for the project management software also mattered.
So, while I feel that this makes sense and is a no-brainer way to look at the world (in that, my system already closely resembles this), I’m still running around after my child-like wonder with this system held out like an appealing mother with a laundry basket. More often than not, inner-me is just having a ball - leaving notes scrawled nonsensically all over everything she can get a hold of, throwing temper tantrums when I try to establish rituals of personal check-ins for goal-setting, and using up so much brain CPU for a Backburner tasks that it becomes incredibly difficult to keep focused on maintaining an action oriented mind state. Mind you, my super power is that if I manage to get my mind on track with the heart, it gets DONE. Period. So, how come I can’t manage to get to that state, more often, with greater success rates?
I am excited to usher in this new era of systems – using one funnel for the brain dump and tips for technological catch-alls. Emailing myself an idea was a novel new way to look at idea generation, and even better that they can get filed in an elegant way with using an idea-related “file name” convention made of Action, Backburner, and Reference. I’m already taking steps to use it and find that my brain matter has more literal SPACE to get things going and generate. Too often I kept trying to maintain a hold on all of it – rarely did I watch my energy line.
John Clease talks about this space-making as a way to provide a moment for your brain to freak out. I appreciate that he honestly and openly discusses the need to allow your brain to panic. I think my biggest problem at times is residing in that strange, tough place where nothing is happening and I’m feeling unproductive. It makes total sense of course – if you jam a space full of junk, and suffocate a seed with too much water, soil, and what-have-you's, you do not have the optimal conditions for growth. But really, in the work environs I have found myself in, this is a refreshing reminder in the importance of mindfulness in my creative practice.