The Stop List

The STOP DOING Debrief

Today we’re checking back on that STOP DOING stuff!

About a month ago I challenged you to STOP doing some things! Stop expecting so much of yourself. Stop getting in your own way. Stop doing things that don’t matter to you.

Do you remember that?

Of course, you do!

Because you’ve made wonderful progress over the last 30 days, right?

OK- so I am a bit off my rocker now. And NO, you may or may not have made substantial progress,

but I’ll bet you have become more aware of what can be accomplished with well – awareness!

So, here’s a refresher. (You can find the original article HERE.)

We talked about the overwhelm we feel when we look at the ever-present To-Do list. But what happens if we tell ourselves we DON’T have to do something? What happens when we give ourselves permission to NOT do something?

That’s right. I suggested that we STOP making lists and plans of everything we want to or have to do!

No more to-do lists. No more projects that need to be done. But I did put something in its place.

And I said back then, I’d check back in with you to share our progress and talk about how it went. It’s called a “debrief” and you can read all about that HERE.

OK – so here we are – Four full weeks later. WHOO-Hoo!

What did we stop doing? What did we discover was preventing us from being our best in our creative pursuits?

This hack is all about pressure and expectation. It’s about trying to trick your brain by letting it off the hook so to speak.

I’ll go first!

Here’s My Debrief:

#1 – I’m going to STOP comparing myself to other creative entrepreneurs. For the most part, I was semi-successful in not comparing my journey to anyone else’s. But it was HARD!

You see, we creatives need to look outward for inspiration sometimes so it can be quite difficult to hold back the negative chatter when looking at all the cool stuff done by others.

It is especially hard when things aren’t going nearly as good as we want them to.

My FIX: This is straight out of Creatively-U and one of those times where I had to practice what I preach!

Baby steps, consistency, micro-mini goals, habits – the WHOLE DAMN THING!

Here’s something I want you to tell yourself if you are feeling this way:

“Dig into almost every overnight success story and you’ll find about a decade’s worth of hard work and perseverance.” Austin Kleon

“An overnight success is ten years in the making.” Tom Clancy

#2 – I’m going to stop being afraid of all the stuff I still don’t know how to do. OK, I nailed this one if I do say so myself!  But it IS an ongoing thing.

This week alone I am on my third try at video and audio, and it’s starting to look decent.

Here’s what helped (de ja Vue anyone?):

I took baby steps. I wrote down what I didn’t know yet and what I needed to do. I tackled each micro-step one at a time. I went back to the drawing board as many times as necessary.

And you know what?

Each time it got easier and better, and I learned a lot along the way. You either win or you learn. Simple as that!

“A failure is not always a mistake; it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” B. F. Skinner

#3 – I’m going to stop checking business metrics several times a day. Nailed this one too!

And I was able to find about 30 minutes each day to spend on other stuff… Like doing more learning (apropos to #2).

Anybody know what SEO means and what it does? Yeah, me neither!

But it’s something I must learn so there’s no time like the present!

#4 – I’m going to stop carrying my phone around the house with me. On one hand, I did pretty well, or rather, I started out well. However, it turns out the phone is one of the best tools I have to accomplish crap from #2! Go figure!

The truth – I had to go to plan B on this one. Turn OFF notifications. You see, for whatever reason, the camera on my phone is BY FAR the best one I have for my business…so it turns out, the phone had to accompany me…EVERYWHERE!

Good thing it’s tightly screwed to a boom held high above my worktable!

I couldn’t reach it even if I wanted to!

#5 – I’m going to stop getting up from my desk and going to the kitchen when I’m stuck or bored. Alright – this was a miserable FAIL!

But I did notice just how often I get frustrated and want to get up and let it be for a while! And that’s OK! I did learn to be kinder to myself and I did learn to do something else eventually.

Here’s how I fixed this one. Feel free to take it and make it your own.

I added to my Stop Doing List – I will stop doing my work for 5 to 10 minute each hour to get up, walk around the house, stretch, and do some deep breathing.

Ok, I’ll admit that it would be just as easy to say I added something to my To-do list. But that’s not the point. By giving myself permission to stop working and be kind to myself, I was able to view the whole darn thing differently. And I changed a “bad habit” to a “good habit.” Smooth!

Your “Stop Doing” List

Let me know how you did. Share your debrief here! My guess is that you did some things well and some things – well, not so well!

That’s OK. Look at my list. I only nailed two and had to rework the other three!

So, tell us, did you discover things about yourself, and did you find somethings to STOP doing?

How did it work out? Any observations? Any AHA moments?

And here’s the best question of all: When you stopped doing some stuff, did the world fall apart? Did the sun stop shining?

NO! Whatever you stopped doing wasn’t so important after all. And maybe you gained a little time for your creativity.

So, share your “stop doing” list below. Share your debrief!

I guarantee you’ll see – you aren’t the only one who struggled with this one!

You are among great company!

Join me LIVE on my Facebook page, Virginia Leigh Studio, at 3:00 pm Central every Wednesday and we’ll chat about this. I’d love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends and family. Click your favorite social platform below. And join my email list for weekly creative inspiration and get support and encouragement inside my private Facebook group, Virginia’s Studio Cats.

Become Creatively-U!

Find more purpose and meaning in your day!

1 thought on “The STOP DOING Debrief”

  1. Jennifer Wygal Millett

    Well, I started out terrific. I didn’t surf my iPad at all and became very good at doing my creative activities. It felt wonderful. I was excited and in the flow of things. That did last for about, oh, I’d say 3 weeks. That’s pretty good. Then my right shoulder began to hurt and I had to back off so I colored in one of those abstract coloring books. My shoulder didn’t mind that but it got too overwhelming to me. Soooo, I got out my spinning wheel to try that with my shoulder. Well, believe it or not, my shoulder didn’t mind but the silk was being a pain in the butt to spin so I took that bobbin off and decided to spin silk and camel? Well, that’s when I messed up. The spinning wheel is sitting here and so is the silk and camel but I haven’t gotten got to them. My little brain got off track and I started on the iPad again. But, the good news is that I recognized that and now I’m back on track. I check my email and notifications, do my morning routine (breakfast, dress, knee exercises, etc.) then dive into my creatives. Yay!!!! So I think I’m doing fairly well. It’s that reminder in my head that has to give me that nudge. Of course, every now and then I give myself a little time to stop to relax. The only problem is that I need to stop going to the kitchen which is right behind me. I do most of my creative activities in the family room. It’s more comfortable. Hmmmmm!!!

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