I love to write lists. I write lists for most things in my life. I'll write a list of things I need to list if I can. I've even put writing this blog on a list. I don't think this is because I'll forget to write it otherwise, I think it's simply because then I can tick it off my list, and feel like I've achieved something.
Amongst all my lists, I've been thinking about productivity, and how best to go about getting the most out of my time. I'm torn between two schools of thought; does activity breed action, or is a clear mind (and timetable) a more productive one?
As dancers, I think we're expected to live both of these realities. Certainly to keep your body in a performance-ready state, and to keep your face being seen and recognised, it is important to be at class regularly, attending workshops and generally getting around. And to do this you need to be earning money. Which involves committing a fair chunk of time to (perhaps not your first choice of) paid work. Whilst still remaining constantly available should that project you're involved in get funding, or that choreographer you met starts R&D on their new piece.
I've recently had a sense of perpetually trying to appear very busy and very available all at once. And at the same time, I find myself yearning simultaneously for more busy times as well as for some free time. But then comes the free-time-induced guilt of feeling like you're not doing enough to push yourself and that in one day 'off' you'll definitely miss out on that golden opportunity that you so deserve.
I'll freely admit that I'm a sufferer of 'FOMO': Fear Of Missing Out. It's a devastating condition that punishes the sufferer should they not be present at absolutely everything all of the time, made even worse with the knowledge that (heaven forbid!) friends and colleagues are there when you're not. And I wonder what it is that fuels this fear, what motivates us to stick at this and constantly want more. Whilst social networking sites have their incredible plus points (chances are you're reading this via Twitter), I think the sense of pressure that they generate to appear to be 'doing things' can take over, and take focus away from what it is you actually want.
In my quest to reduce my FOMO-itis I often find myself applying for flippin' everything, for the sake of a feeling of doing something, without stopping to think about what it really is that I want, what it is that I'm (me, an individual, a creative) inspired and motivated by. I know I'm inspired by people, by human interaction and experience, by starting with nothing, and the process you go through to create something. So, how now to stay true to this, to be present at things because I'm genuinely interested, not because I feel like I should? Chances are it'll start with a list...