As a business owner things happen when I make them happen. I can feel free to work whenever, and often, wherever. But when to stop? The weekends? After 30, 50 or 80 hours of work in a week? When to push and when to let go? Do I make this specific thing happen by sheer force of will or is it a matter of allowing the elements to fall into place? The answer I have found is some of both. Feeling inspired is one of the most powerful and satisfying modes of operation. It encompasses both the doing things and the letting things happen approaches.
How To Prioritize To-Dos While Maintaining Inspiration
Here's how I prioritize and complete to-dos, large and small, while in a state of inspiration; by creating spaciousness to make room for and allow inspiration to take over.
I take a step back. This can be in the form of taking a breath, a short break, an hour, afternoon or day off even when you know you could be so busy with doingness.
It is out of letting go temporarily that an open (versus cluttered) mental space makes way for inspiration. It has a chance to bubble up until it is spilling over and you get that feeling that you want to take a specific action (i.e. write an article) right now! The writing flows easily. You have intrinsic motivation and clarity.
How To Get Into The Zone Of Inspiration
These are the steps I advise to get into the zone of inspiration:
1. Temporarily remove the self-imposed psychological pressure to perform and accomplish.
2. Choose how you will become present in this moment. Some ideas are the following: a guided meditation, journaling, sitting and looking at nature, going for a walk or yoga.
3. Set a timer. At what time do you want to stop? Even 2 minutes can help shift you from doing to being. I often set a 2-minute timer to look at the greenery around me. You may also decide to take all the time you need.
Go-getter entrepreneurs may find refraining from going down the to-do list challenging at first. Protect the inspiration zone time so you are available for you. You are not giving this time to a friend over the phone or via a walk. This is your time and space. Being present with yourself so that inspired insights and actions can surface and guide you. The mind chatter about laundry and sales numbers can slow down and what's below is a deep ever-present layer of ideas that otherwise get pushed out of the way.
When time's up and you go back to your regularly programmed day, you have a win. You showed yourself for a little or a long while that your psychic space gets a turn because it is worthy. You advocated for personal thought, feeling and experience unrelated to any particular task. This is freedom in simplicity.
Beyond considering the clock time you put into work there is an intangible—your mental energy. Lots of care and thought often go into entrepreneurial endeavors even when we are inspired to do them. There is lots of problem solving. There are hopes and dreams. You put in the time and effort, but more is often needed to accomplish a goal such as publishing an article. I have created the product, started a momentum but I cannot publish the article myself unless I start a magazine. I now need the perfect magazine to take on the article and publish it.
The Secret Ingredient To Achieving Your Goals
There is a seemingly illogical secret ingredient to achievement. After you have declared that you know what you want, after you have worked hard for it; then you trust. Trust. Ask yourself, what would I do right now if I trusted that I could let this particular project go? In the trusting you are implying that you are done. You did your part and now it's time for momentum to pick up where you left off. It doesn't matter if you have zero idea about how this will happen. Trusting is a challenging ask for nearly all of us.
The Sequence For Achieving Your Goals
Here's the sequence that I find works to achieve goals, large and small:
Have a clear goal,
Work for it,
Let it all go.
Sometimes we experience a linear second as if it were a minute, such as when time slows down. Likewise we can perceive a year as having passed by in a day. My paradigm is to manage time as an experience, more than perceiving time as a linear force. We fill our time in various states such as inspiration, boredom, anger, anticipation and so on. That is why I employ techniques that alter my experience.
Choosing inaction is doing something. You have so much to do and yet you stop. Stop until the momentum of inspiration takes over. Stop again to let go of consequence. Pushing things to happen is stressful. Whereas the inspiration approach feels exhilarating and magical.
More about: goals