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What’s your motivational cheesecake?

What’s your motivational cheesecake?

I received an email this week from one of my very good friends. She has three small children and she asked me: “Jenny, are you taking time out for yourself?” She has recently hired a babysitter for one morning a week and is dedicating this time to herself – not groceries, not children’s doctor’s appointments. She is going to recharge herself by taking long walks, writing letters, quilting, napping, coffee with friends, the occasional manicure. She also included a tasty cheesecake recipe in her email.

My initial reaction was “Good idea, but where the heck would I find time to bake a homemade cheesecake?” Then I paused for a moment: what’s stopping me from making time to bake a cheesecake? I it possible that baking would force me to focus on finishing my most important tasks first – is this a motivational cheesecake?

Fraser Green of Good Works recently wrote about a similar subject in his annual yearbook. Fraser writes:

“It’s counter-intuitive, isn’t it? To do things better and faster, you actually have to stop what you’re doing. Pause a bit. Reflect. Think. See the forest, and not just the trees.”

Here’s my motivational cheesecake challenge: What if we blocked 2 hours a week in our daily professional lives to work on concept stuff – the “brain-space stuff” that you don’t yet know the answer to, and you don’t exactly know how to start, but you know that it can’t wait too much longer before it will require some kind of a solution.

Now the confession: my blog often feels like my motivational cheesecake. My creative cheesecake occurs when I craft an idea floating in my head into an article or a blog post. The dialogue before this wonderfully creative experience often sounds more like “Aughh, another blog post! I have an idea, but I just don’t know where to start. I’ll just park it for now, and think about it later.” So what I am asking you in this blog is: what if we worked towards these experiences, instead of working away from them?

Starting something creative never gets any easier. The challenge is to motivate ourselves to sit down, and quietly reflect on what it is that we want to say.

Go ahead – try working towards your motivational cheesecake. You’re worth it!