Knowing When to Take a Break

For the last three weeks, I’ve written about The Artist’s Way, a book and 12-week guided journey to unlock and reclaim creativity in your life.

And for the first couple of weeks working through the program, I was extremely frustrated with myself, lamenting that I wasn’t dedicating as much time to the tasks and exercises as I should be.

I tried to forgive myself a little, and last week I wrote that if I can just spend a little more time and energy to the work each week, that would still be an accomplishment.

Well, I found myself halfway through this past week, and I hadn’t even read the next chapter, let alone done any of the tasks!

And it’s not that I was lazy; although, given … all of this (*gestures everywhere*) … it would be perfectly acceptable to be lazy. It’s just that a lot of other projects ramped up this week, leaving me little time to work on The Artist’s Way.

And so, I had to make a decision: 

Do I power through and do at least a little work on the next chapter in The Artist’s Way so that I can keep to the schedule I committed myself to?

— OR —

Do I put a temporary pause on the program and revisit it when I have more time and energy?

I obviously chose the latter, but it’s interesting how often decisions like this can come up.

When we commit to a new project, we want to see it through, even if it means just focusing on the minimal viable product (or MVP), as I’ve written about in the past. We don’t want to hold up the work, just because we can’t do it perfectly.

However, I think there’s a point where you have to accept the value in pressing ‘pause’. Not necessarily giving up, but just taking a small break and waiting until you have the necessary resources to tackle the project.

Because if you’re just doing work for work’s sake and not getting any value out of the experience, then what’s the point?
So, I will be taking a 2-week break from The Artist’s Way to wrap up another project that is occupying most of my time at the moment. But don’t worry — I’ll be back on the journey, with hopefully more time and energy.

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