Yes, this a rant about creative energy. I’ve been traveling for work and personal reasons for the past few months, on and off. Sometimes close by, sometimes far away. I’ve also had a very intense, productive past few months at work. All good problems to have.
The type of work that I do is highly intellectually intensive – strategy, decision-making, writing, conceptualizing. I also enjoy working with entrepreneurs outside my regular working hours, I read a lot of news, and sometimes I do research to justify financial decisions. On top of that, I try to keep learning, at least a few months. I know I need to cut some of these down and prioritize sleep and relaxation more, but that’s not always easy.
Water Jug of Creative Energy
The problem with this type of lifestyle is the cognitive overload that comes with it. The good news is that there are ways to reduce it. I imagine my creative energy like a water jug. Sometimes it’s full, sometimes it empties up.
When I’m in full busy mode, I pour all of my creative energies into my work, so when I try to write on my blog, for example, I’m tapped out.
When I’m out snowboarding, hiking, or traveling, and my mind has a few moments to stand still, the jug slowly begins to fill back up. Sleep sometimes does that too, but only when I do it enough to be fully rested.
There are shortcuts to filling the jug temporarily. Music works sometimes, coffee also works. Reading non-related things or hanging out with people can fill some of the creative jug, but it’s those moments of idle-ness that help the most.
I love what I do. But I need to constantly remind myself that doing too much in one part will end up sapping all my creative energy and leave none for other activities.
They don’t teach this kind of stuff in school. I wish there was more out there than generic advice on how to relax, disconnect and do mindfulness exercise every day. By the way, I found that I need some creative energy for those, too.
So far, I’ve been failing at one of my main goals in 2020 – making space to relax. But it’s only late Feb, there’s time!
Photo by Kouji Tsuru on Unsplash