First the concept of work is a little strange to me. What we call “work” is not really work… It’s usually just an amount of tasks. Work is not a task, work is bigger than that. For example printing is not work. It’s just printing. It’s just a work related task but not actually work (except if you work for xerox). How much time is spent printing worldwide during ‘work’ time? It’s easy to consider this part of a job but, come on, wouldn’t you prefer to actually create instead of print?
Now, what percentage of tasks like printing is considered as work? Update your OS, going up in the elevator, recharging your laptop, etc.. And when do we really solve problems that matter?
I have been struggling with my yoga practice during the whole month of June (I know it’s not really “paid work” but yoga is still some kind of work even if the benefits are not money-related). In May I was on vacation and I must admit I ate and drank more than usual. I almost did not do any kind of physical or intellectual activities. So I suppose it’s not surprising that I felt like I came back 6 months in past when I started yoga again. I was still “understanding” what was going on but my body was simply just not following. I kept up practicing, I made some progress and came back to my before-vacation “level”. Since then the progress have continued (… bonus!) like if was still on the same learning curve. What is strange though is that I was feeling comfortable before my holidays but making progress at a relatively slow rate… After this month of struggles, I have never felt so good practicing yoga than during the past 2 weeks.
I also have the same kind of feelings with my creative work (read programming). Some days are filled with problems with no answer. During these days, I want to give up everything, I question myself, I believe I will fail. And during some other days everything falls in place almost magically, everything seems obvious.
So when does work happen? Is it when you are struggling with problems or when you actually get stuff done with ease?
For me work happens when I accept to deal with issues and not expect anything in return ; just deal with it. Most of the time the task is not difficult. What is difficult though is to accept to dedicate time to get it done. Most of my work ideas happen when I take a shower or when I eat breakfast for example – I just need some time in the morning… and I literally wait for it to happen. It’s at this time that I think of the day/week ahead of me and accept what will happen. That’s when creativity is really at work. I usually have the idea of what needs to be done to attain a goal. Real work is just about accepting the straight line, the one we know is the best and continue following it even during dark times. Yes in the end, it is just a matter of deciding to continue.
When does work happen for you?