05 October 2011

BTW: What to Leave Undone

"The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone." 

That distinction is the precise reason why my friend Dawn Marie crowned me the Queen of ProcrastiNation, I think. I have a very hard time focusing lately (that is my word for the year - but maybe it should have been procrastination as that is much easier for me to do!). She even told me that I would get a Corona-tion ceremony, with or without a lime. (I am all about the lime ;-).

Today's ProcrastiNation agenda consisted of

  • not leaving work at noon as is my custom on Tuesdays and Thursdays because something urgent came in as I was switching off my computer and wouldn't I have time to squeeze it in?
  • cleaning the concrete floor in the basement next to the refrigerator where I found two gallon zip lock bags with the duck breasts and goose breasts that my husband just brought home from the weekend and were sitting on the floor seeping into a nice oozing mess. Needless to say they are no longer frozen after sitting out on the concrete floor near the furnace for 15 hours and now my basement looks like a murder may have been committed there.
  • watching Rocket's one and only home football game (they won 38-0, not really procrastinating, but important!)
  • sitting on the couch and watching last week's Project Runway with Tiny Dancer since we missed it and it is our tradition (also important but not the best use of my limited time)
  • scanning Etsy for baker's twine assortments before I finally decided on one, and for what reason? the price? the colors? the amount? No. Because it was the last one that I looked at over the course of an hour. Because I have some new packaging that I am trying out (stay tuned to Art Bead Scene on Saturday when I show a glimpse of what that will be and a tutorial on an earring display idea!)
So now I sit here at 11:59 and I did not accomplish a whole hell of a lot. 

But I am in the throes of making more simple truths in anticipation of the one big show that I do each year (and by big, I mean that there is more than just a handful of people walking by, and I usually do well at this show). Last year I debuted the idea that would bloom into 'simple truths'. The first versions were all on metal dog tags stamped or etched or in bezels that had resin. They were all nice, and they were quite a novelty around here, but I knew in my heart that it wasn't the medium for me. And I realized that night that it wasn't as much about the medium as the message. So it took me a few months more to work out the kinks to the 'simple truths' that you know today. And so at this show, that is primarily all that I will be having for sale. So that means that I need to get busy and make a minimum of 100 necklaces, 50 pairs of earrings, 20 rings (yes! rings!) and 20 bracelets  if I can swing it. So even though it is 12:03 am right now, I still have a few more hours of work left tonight. But here is a bit of what I have been working on...

{Why yes, my studio does look like this all of the time, and this is but one small part, and no, you can't see the rest of it. Why do you ask?}
{From clockwise, top left: new ring shanks waiting for their 'simple truth'; what my paint palette - and my fingers - are colored at all times; new bezel settings with edge trim, some double-sided, plus lacy little ones perfect for earrings or initial pendants; more color for the multi-step process that is a 'simple truth' (not so simple after all;-); simple truths waiting for the colorizing, antiquing, highlighting and finishing touches that will then be made into (I hope!) completed jewelry. Does anyone know an intern who would like to work for jewelry in the central Wisconsin area?}

{the few simple truths that made it through the process today, in between cleaning up the dead duck yuck and a football game ;-}
 Speaking of simple truths... in my ProcrastiNation duties (or non-duties, as it were) I completely neglected to choose a winner of the hummingbird pendant from the Bead Soup Blog Hop a few weeks ago and promised on September 30th. I am a sloth in that I have only hopped around to about a 15% of the blogs on the hop (and I am still committed to doing it even if it takes me until Christmas to do it!). So much loveliness! And thank you so kindly for all the nice words about my necklace, Inner Joy.

Winner: Christine Altmiller! 

Woot! I will be in touch to arrange the flight of your hummingbird!

And Thank You Miss Janet and Miss Christine for both bestowing on me the One Lovely Blog Award. That is a 'something good' for sure!

Your turn...
What is keeping you from doing that which you know you must do? 
Is that a sign of something larger, or just an indication that your procrastination has kicked into high gear?
What is it that you MUST get done today?


SueBeads said...

Add writing a long blog post to your list of procrationations! LOL! Your work is beautiful! Are you using alcohol inks? I just discovered those and think I am in love!

Alice said...

Everything on your bead table is so beautiful! I'm loving your Simple Truths.

I am an expert at procrastination. Usually I delay the things that I don't really want to do, or that I find intimidating or frightening (annual pap and breast exam). But many times it is because I have so many things that need done I don't know where to start. Sometimes I feel like I'm just spinning in circles.

Courtney said...

Your pendants look wonderful and I would be more than happy to come and work for jewelry! :)

Not so much about procrastination, more about lack of time and getting back into the groove of life right now!

Laura Twiford said...

Procrastinator is my middle name and unfortunately I think I passed the gene on to my son! There was a t-shirt i saw once and so wished I had gotten it that said "if it weren't for the last minute I'd get nothing done at all" That is my motto! I will procrastinate especially if it is something new and I'm uncertain, i will put off tackling it until I have no choice but to just do it!

maneki said...

I feel like always procrastinated. Perhaps I learned it in school were it can be very common among pupuls -- and still at uni I would sometimes wait to the last minute to start writing that essay or thesis... And now with the Internet -- that thing can consume a lot of your time if you have that procrastinator gene! :D

I should add that I often think about things for a long time so it's not like I totally ignore something until last minute. But I often need dealines as an incentive to begin, to concrete the things in my head or take the bull by the horns. I'm one of those that always find the starting phase labourious and even if it's something I know I'll enjoy doing -- it's not just about not wanting to make something I feel is tedious, scarry or hard. That would be understandable. No, it's about many things. Taking that first step is hard. I need a push. From myself or someone/ something else (e.g. a deadline). Sometimes it's probably because I'm still deep down uncertain with way to go with a project, but far from always. Then I compensate by enjoying multi-tasking.

Sometimes procrastination can be good, though. E.g. when waiting to begin or finish a project, I've come up with a better idea I (probably) wouldn't have had otherwise. Or when waiting means you discover a new product or technique that's great for that idea you're thinking about. But other times it's just a bad habit or maybe a sign that I've run out of energy and perhaps should do something about it.

I do think I have a balance: procrastinating is a part of my personality and I am aware of it, it works for me, but it's nothing that takes over and creates obstacles in my life, keep me from finishing things I really have to do or make me miss opportunities (ok, a few but there were other ulterior factors that prompted the procrastination those times). As long as it's like that I don't worry. If it goes beyond that and I can't blame lack of time, I probably have to find and deal with the underlying issues. I like being a procrastinator -- and at the same time known for always finishing things on time (given a deadline).

Well, I have nothing I must to today but I have planned to work on a few things that have to be done before the 14th so I'm trying to get off the computer in about half an hour. Wish me luck with that! *lol*

Christine Altmiller said...

Woo HOO!!! I Never see my name on the winners list! thank you SO much Erin! since it is a hummingbird, maybe it was destined to come into my home :-) and now that i see how much work goes into "simple truths", i will cherish it even more. nothing simple about simplicity.
I am a deep procrastinator. finishing-the-gift-on-the-way-to-the-party kind of procrastinator. porch furniture gets winterized in march kind of procrastinator. If it wasn't for the last minute.....

Brandi said...

I've been feeling the pull of polymer clay lately, even though I haven't played with it but once. So, I'm excited to see how your pieces all turn out! Best of luck at your show!

Jennifer Jangles said...

Good luck at the show! I'm sure you'll do great and have lots made. I can't believe how late you stay up, that's amazing...I need my eight sometimes ten hours.

CraftyHope said...

I love getting a peek at your unfinished pieces with the inks and brushes close at hand!!

Best of luck at the show and co brats on developing an idea that is more YOU!

missficklemedia.com said...

Erin, I have 2 huge rolls of blue and red striped bakers twine. I have used it in my packaging since 2007. Let me know how much yardage you would like.

How do you prepare your duck?

And one more thing; honestly, we are putting off a big business decision that should have been made a long time ago. If I have learned anything in my 38 years (debatable), it is that some problems do not go away if you ignore them. Dammit.

Riki Schumacher said...

I put things off until I absolutely must do them, then it gets done! What things, mainly jewelry and exercise, two things I love, go figure!! Ha ha. Loved hearing from you, and you are entered in the contest! Thanks Erin. Riki xox

SummersStudio said...

I'm just kicking back into studio mode after a week of procrastintion. Trying out a new metal that has serious issues put me way off the track of the things I know how to do and need to do. But that is my usual story. I get focussed on one objective and ignore all of the other things that need to get done. Things like cleaning the house before my BIL and his partner come from SF. Oh, Erin, it is so nice to know that I am not the only procrastinator in the world. But what needs to get done, does get done, doesn't it.

Cameron said...

Oh Erin, I love the new look of your blog....I'm sorry if I haven't visited in a while.

I admit I was lured in, though I'm in a hurry, by the picture of your workspace on my dashboard! I just love seeing the behind the scenes/where the magic happens spaces of my fellow creatives!

Beautiful in progress shots, too!

Well, in my book, you are one of the busiest and most prolific artists out there....so, sometimes, it's okay to slow down a bit :)

That duck goo would bother me, too...yuck! Hello bleach!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Well, first, I can send you my 21 year old. She's really quite delightful, and can be helpful when she chooses to be ;) LOL! She's on her third major in three years - Art, I picked it for her and she's actually realizing it's what she loves. Who knew.

Procrastination. The bane of my existence. I give 150% to my job. Every. Single. Day. Other than a paycheck and health insurance (which I sincerely appreciate), what I get in return is aggrivation, unappreciation, stress ..... I come home, mentally and emotionally exhausted and have nothing left to give. I promised myself when I took the job three years ago that I wouldn't give and give and give. I came to the realization and acceptance a week ago that I was going to stop - 40 hours a week is all they're getting. What gets done, gets done.

I have let it prevent me from pursuing my dreams. I have a concept for a product that I haven't seen. I've spent a good year thinking about it, looking around to make sure it was just different enough, but not giving myself the time to pursue it. Partly, because I'm afraid, and don't want to be judged. I need to just stop and DO IT starting NOW!

Watching you (virtually) pursue your dream has inspired me. Keep at it!

Cindy said...

Erin, what a great post. I felt like I was sympathizing and even laughing as I read it. The duck breast issue going on in the basement was almost comical - at least the humorous way you wrote about it, but gross and a shame that it happened at the same time. That's one clean up job I doubt that I could have handled! :-0
What a rare glimpse inside your studio...it is like a wonderful polymer clay laboratory with colors and paintbrushes and pieces in different stages of completion. I sure enjoyed my visit today...and need I say, I'm a fellow Procrastinator too (I think you already know that!). :-)


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