the simplicity of a short-term obsession

Ah, hello.  It's good to be back.

Guess what?  It worked!  I cut a whole slew of stuff out--more than I had even anticipated--to work my butt off on one thing, and I didn't freak out at anyone or crumble into a ball.  Not even one time.

So, tomorrow the small arts nonprofit I lead is relaunching.  New logo, new website, new focus.

I've been working hard toward this (and so have lots of other folks) for two years now.  But over the past two and half weeks, it's been my almost-complete focus.  

So many things that I usually call absolutely essential to my usual life were put on hold:

  • I did almost nothing to help our household go.  Very little laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning up.  (Thank you, husband.)
  • I didn't make plans, and I had to let go of a few plans I had made a while ago.
  • I didn't write here.
  • I read no blogs.
  • I took email off my phone.  (Big success.  More on that later.)
  • I leaned on some extra childcare help.

Things that I would usually consider sacrilege to put on hold in my work life at the arts org were put on hold anyway:

  • I let my Board know that if we were going to meet this launch date, all fundraising would be put on hold for three weeks.
  • There will be no advance materials for our November Board meeting this week.  The meeting will just have to move more slowly.
  • I canceled standing meetings.

And my other big project--writing a second draft of a new play--had to go on ice until after tomorrow, too.

But I chose this.   I chose to single-focus on this project for two and half weeks.  I chose to be obsessed with this launch because it's really important to me that it go well.

And by cutting out those other things that I usually expect myself to do come-hell-or-high-water, I was able to give my energy to this project and still:

  • get 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night
  • allow time to eat three meals a day
  • be in a relatively good space when I was spending time with my family.

You're familiar with this obsessed, single-focus place.  You've been there with a theatre project or an entrepreneurial venture or a mural or a book.

Next time you find yourself in this place, see how many of the so-called essentials you can let go so that you can actually still fit in the real essentials:  rest, food, a little time with loved ones.  It's been a whole new world for me.  And a much better one.

Wish me luck tomorrow, will you?