makers and managers
I have a really hard time with transitions, especially when it comes to doing something 'hard'. I remember at university my roommates saying, "Andrea's cleaning the toilet. She must have an exam". It's not just laziness and procrastination, though; once I get going on something all-consuming I also have a hard time stopping. So when I take a break from painting something large or working towards a deadline/finishing a project I know that, somewhere down the road, I will have to face another excruciating climb back into the driver's seat and it freezes me. Tomorrow I plan to thaw out. Or the next day.
Seriously, though, I thought my problems with compulsiveness and inertia were simply more dirt in a laundry list of character flaws I mostly try and suppress. Then I read this:
When you're operating on the maker's schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting.
Hallelujah and pass the Comet! It turns out I'm a 'maker' rather than a 'manager'. Or, rather, I am both a maker of art and the manager of a breathtakingly-busy household and the two are effectively incompatible. Art making requires an intense level of focus and it's so much easier to fall into the default position of making lunches and driving to soccer practices as it gives me the illusion of being somewhat productive. But once I get going on an art project I get behind in my Other Job and general panic ensues. I guess that's why Picasso and other celebrated makers had/have a phalanx of assistants and a bomb site of a personal life. You can't have it both ways.
Anyway, this article is about the corporate world (specifically startups) but applies to anyone like me, trying to balance two basically incompatible roles. Now, please excuse me as I have a bathroom to clean.