Artful Energy

stay weak in your dreams

There are some days where it doesn’t pay to get out of bed. The dishwasher dies, the kids get sick, the dog needs an emergency run to the vet… we all have these days. There’s usually no creating done, but it’s only to be expected, right? But what about the days where you work around your studio instead of in it… What’s the rationale then?

I read this really interesting post from CopyBlogger by Sonia Simone this morning. She touched on a few different points- but the one that really resonated for me was the idea that running a business isn’t a time management problem, it’s an energy management problem.

It started me thinking about my distant science classes and the Laws of Energy, and how they apply directly to my day. Irregardless of how well I sleep, I wake up with the entire day before me, full of Potential Energy. I can not add to this store of energy, even with ultra-strong espresso, because I can not add any more hours into the day. I can only accomplish actvities in the time that I have. No more, no less.

Throughout the day, my Potential Energy is transmuted into actions that utilize energy I will never get back. Like a sand in an hour glass, all my potential for the day flows whether I would have it do so or not, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics:

Neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed. The amount of energy in the universe is constant – energy can be changed, moved, controlled, stored, or dissipated. However, this energy cannot be created from nothing or reduced to nothing.

- All About Science

So all those bits of energy I expend working on things that “have to be done”, but do not make me happy, create anything beautiful, or help me reach my personal goals… are converting my finite store of energy into a dull landscape of hard work without much in the way of reward.

Sonia Simone suggested focusing on the parts of one’s work that build you up during the day, and outsourcing the rest. I find myself in whole-hearted agreement. Why on earth should I waste my unrecoverable energy on work that doesn’t help me, make me happy, or enrich my life in some way?

Why would anyone?

So this week’s goal is to direct my energies into only things that really matter. Forging ahead with projects I love, both in my studio and in my life, and letting go the rest.

Will you join me?


  • Howard says:

    I agree about the energy/time thing. Personally, I find that I do the things I have to do and then reward myself with doing something I want to do; which could be anything, read that novel, go out for dinner, talk to a friend, work on that fabulous metal project. That seems to work best for me. It gets done the things that have to get done, but doesn’t drive me bonkers!

    • Kaelin says:

      That’s all very well and good- but I find myself resenting having to wait for the fun things, or never actually getting to the fun things at all! My hideous perfectionism kicks in, and tells me I haven’t done ‘enough’ to earn the special activity. Which is why I’ve suddenly become so focused on the balance of work-work, and fun-work. It’s either find a balance, or give up metal. And I don’t think I could ever sanely give up metal!

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