efficiency, organization, & getting older (aka philosophy: balance pt. 2)

After an exceedingly busy couple of months teaching, dancing, putting together choreography, jetting back and forth across the US, and preparing for some upcoming summer plans, I finally had a Saturday off. No teaching, no dancing, no social plans, nothing. Just REST. I was going to schedule a facial and a massage, but I’m fighting the tail end of a hardcore bout with allergies and a cold, so I decided against it and spent most of the day in bed watching movies or napping. I will say this: I have absolutely no regrets about doing it. It felt amazing! Sometime toward the end of the day, I posted this on my personal Facebook page:

“i’m finding the older i get (or rather the larger my ambitions become…), the more life forces me to become more organized & efficient. i’m starting to REALLY realize the value in those old adages that sound cliche, but are very much true. many talk so hard about the “grind”, but are you maximizing the “grind” to move you forward, or grinding to maintain your standing?”

Let’s talk.

When I posted that status my mind was running through how true that first statement was for me and all the boasting that I see daily about people “on their grind”, but never really moving forward. If I’m not mistaken, grinding means you’re hard at work or study, correct? If you’re hard at work, hopefully all the time and energy that you’re putting in is helping you develop your skills, move up the career ladder, or at the very least helping you put some extra money in your pocket (preferably the kind that folds, not the kind that jingles…). If not, what’s the point of it? When I was younger, after getting home with my favorite treat and scarfing it down in one sitting, my mother would always tell me “You might live tomorrow, you know!” I witness so many people (some of my friends included) who grind grind GRIND, only to spend spend SPEND or waste waste WASTE and have nothing at the end of the day. After a hard-won fight to acquire the resources needed for progression, it’s squandered and any hopes of evolution are dashed.  No no no, that is NOT me. As I become older and my goals become clearer, I find am without a doubt committed to moving forward, as I want so much out of this life and will indeed get it.

As I look back on the end of a “teaching year” (September – May for me), I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve had to put things together quickly from a) my lack of organization and time management, or b) plain procrastination. They all turned out a successful product, praise the Lord, but had I taken the time to organize and done a bit more preparation beforehand, I could have been even prouder of the final outcome. Situations like that must end. I’m discovering that to do everything that I set my mind to, I must prepare my life before taking it on. Not only mentally and physically, but in the 24 hours that take place every day! I have to find time to prepare that piece of choreo, remember what time I go to the trainer, and when I scheduled that rehearsal. I have to cut that music when I start the dance, and find costumes 2 months before, rather than the week before the final performance. It is only when I become organized and efficient that time will open up for me to take on more, accomplish more, or even *REST* more! I need more Saturdays like the one I mentioned earlier!

I guess I’m still working on that balance that elicited such a great response a few weeks back. Yes, I love the feeling of being totally engrossed in dance, but my goal is to not work harder, but work smarter. What happens from there is the real magic!

What do you think can be done to work smarter, not harder? Leave a comment below.

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