Fall-Inspired Self Portrait done with colored pencil
So last week I undertook the project of publicly sharing six ambitious tasks for me to accomplish between Thursday 10/23 and Saturday 11/01. This was an experiment to test the effectiveness of perceived accountability. I say “perceived” accountability because I have no idea how many people or if anyone is consistently keeping track of my blog and its progression. This is fine because its visibility is still public and that puts pressure on me to deliver.
Unfortunately I didn’t complete most of my “weekly big six” because I forgot to consider my mom’s visit to NYC! I am by no means blaming it on her, I am acknowledging the fact that I GROSSLY lacked perspective while planning. I also didn’t know that I was going to be so over-scheduled by my employer.
This is where I got with them:
- (Check) Start doing some form of cardio or strength exercise for at least 30 minutes 4-5 days a week
- (Check, more work needed) Seek out events and interest-focused groups to attend in Bushwick (probably through Meet-up)
- Seek out and attend some exercise or dance class in the area
- Buy more towels, a window curtain, trashcans (Check) and recruit my mom as a decorator (In Progress)
- Reach out to at least 2 different resources each day for getting work in my field
- (Check and In Progress) Do some awesome things with my mom because she’s visiting and I’m SUPER EXCITED
Although I didn’t put this in my to-do list, I AM very happy with the art piece I created last week. Revisiting my identity as an artist will become the new theme of the year for me, especially now that I’m in New York. This has been unexpected, as art is the last thing on mind when I find myself stressed and I anticipated being highly stressed in New York. This new urge to get back to art has been an utterly pleasant surprise that I am welcoming with a huge embrace. What’s even better? The fact that winter is almost here and the weather is going to be more conducive to me staying in and contemplating an empty canvas.
I’ve also been getting urges to expand my understanding of art into the realm of technology. I know that I’m “young” and expected to really “get” the tech world and all its tricks but I have never been a fan of “screens.” It’s time, it’s time I accept that I can’t run away from these things anymore and I need to learn to conquer them and use them for my benefit in means of graphic design, photography, editing and whatever else I should learn.
Should I write? Should I draw? Should I finally buy those few things I needed or tackle those important errands that I keep procrastinating on? Should I just do nothing and watch a TV show in the comfort of my bed to give my feet a brake? I feel terribly disconnected, should I call a bunch of people?
Does this ever happen to you? You finally find yourself some free time without any interruptions nearby and you start stressing about how to use it. I don’t know about everyone else but I am extremely susceptible to that sensation since I still don’t know “loads” of people here and I happen to be an over-thinker and analyzer, always searching for a way to improve what is. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel satisfied, this constant urge to search is the juice that drives me to continue learning, experiencing incredible things and meeting wonderful people.
I’m writing this post right now because I want to create some form of accountability that I believe will help me get to where I want to be faster AND I don’t like breaking promises. Perhaps, you can borrow from my approach. So I have been in NYC for 2 months and I’ve made progress in huge strides. It has now been 22 days in my apartment in Bushwick and it’s time I establish myself:
Starting from now until next week (10/23-11/01) I will have:
- Started doing some form of cardio or strength exercise for at least 30 minutes 4-5 days a week
- Sought out events and interest-focused groups to attend in Bushwick (probably through Meet-up)
- Sought out and attended some exercise or dance class in the area
- Bought more towels, a window curtain, trashcans and recruited my visiting mom as a decorator
- Reached out to at least 2 different resources each day for getting work in my field
- Done some awesome things with my mom because she’s visiting and I’m SUPER EXCITED
Sheesh, that’s a long and ambitious list. I can handle it though. When it comes to list-making it’s better to keep it short or it will seem too overwhelming and you might not tackle it at all. In “Train Your Brain for Success”, Roger Seip states that one shouldn’t have more than six items on their daily “to-do” list. These are called “The Daily Big Six.” This is more effective than having a list of 20 tasks that may or may not be urgent or important. I’m obsessed with lists. I think it’s the only way I can stay focused and remember what I have to do with the constant distractions.
Do you have much use for lists? How about accountability?
Thanks for reading, now I have to catch up with some people back home.