Tag Archives: spinning plates

Regimens, Rituals, Routines, and Repetitions

There is an inherent beauty in the spotless design of unbroken uniformity. A placid pond without ripples. Endless assembly line loops. Dominoes sitting stacked like obedient soldiers, primed for the fall. We marvel at the meticulousness and take comfort in the reassuring sense that we can anticipate what’s approaching, whether secretly emerging from the shadows or blatantly barreling around blind corners.

Many of the highest output producers have established deliberate methodologies to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. Even in artistic pursuits, there is normally a series of steps taken before the comfort of creativity has a chance to blossom.

History’s most revered thinkers, philosophers, and intellectuals instituted various structured systems and behaviors that allowed them the unencumbered freedom to simply ponder. When we are buried beneath the oxygen-depriving load of checklists, appointments, strain, stress, responsibilities, and distractions, our mental hard drives are too busy spinning plates to thoroughly question, dissect, or explore.

Time management and prioritization are elusive little devils that keep their pitchforks purposely pointed in my direction with far more regularity than I’d like to publicly accept. Staying lost in thoughts that do nothing but add to the tally of uncontrollable variables—drowning in a sea of projection and conjecture—exemplifies the dizzying, dehydrating hamster wheel sprinting that stands in direct opposition to productivity or a legitimate sense of accomplishment.

Find a habit, build a plan, schedule a working window, wait until inspiration strikes, and then let your mind wander free. That seemingly baffling juxtaposition is exactly the recipe required for baking the bread of ideas.

But don’t let the wander turn into maze-making. Hunt for exits and solutions, not walls and hidden cheese.

Adolescence Interrupted

Get the Motor Running

There are few things in life more propulsive than a powerful internal engine. Those who possess an inherent ability to run in the red at all times can manage infinite checklists, juggle limitless balls of obligation, and spin more appointment plates than the average “avoid friction at any cost” modern human. They are the first in line and the last to leave, having apparently, inexplicably inked a deal with the devil to require less sleep than a roaming elephant.

But instead of lamenting a lack of that wild-eyed Tom Cruise caffeine by resorting to self-caning or drowning in feelings of unyielding inadequacy, it’s important to remember that we all shimmy and shake to the sound of our own drummer…even if he’s keeping it slow and steady at 45 bpm.

The key is time management and a focus on achievable goals. No one likes to be buried beneath the mud of self-imposed demands. There’s no oxygen, and at a certain depth, the stains become impossible to remove.

Sometimes the hare spins in circles, while the tortoise takes care of the details. We all have our roles to play at a pace that works for our wiring. The dissimilarities and peculiarities of our species are what keep the soup spicy. I’ve been called “crazy,” “weird,” “unorthodox,” “strange,” or “perplexing” more than once. But I stopped trying to squeeze into the wrong shoe size a long time ago.

Accepting the tag instead of tearing it from the seams has generally limited holes on the collar.

If your engine is turbocharged, enjoy the speed. But if you need some time to get lost in the weeds by seeing where the winding roads of your brain will lead, embrace the room to wander and roam.

You’ll rarely regret the detour.

Adolescence Interrupted