What goes into a day in the life of an Indefatigable Artist.
What is my daily process.
What’s a perfect workday?
Well first of all, I don’t like the word ‘work.’ Just sounds grueling, doing something you don’t like to be doing. And with that being said, I just want to give some respect to those who do jobs that must be done for a functioning society. Waste management, anyone who works in the transportation of goods, postal service, truck drivers, train conductors, agriculture workers, farmers, grocery store workers and of course, doctors, nurses, teachers, anyone serving and protecting the lives of others. Just to name some off the top of my head, the ones that goes widely unnoticed by the majority, just give some recognition to them and say they should be paid for how vital they are to a functioning society.
Given that. Given those selfless jobs, that must be done for a functioning society. I approach my work As an Indefatigable Artist in the 21st Century to seek to add value to my work that will enhance the lives of those who interact with it. Art is often seen as just a distraction, and today, in 2023, there is a limitless number of distractions that any one online can turn to. Which is why my approach is to add value with my work. When I put out a piece of work I want it to bring value to the person who sees it and interacts with it. I try to write poetry that breaks that fourth wall a bit to address the reader or listener.
So what’s a perfect workday?
Perfection is a state never reached. Expectations lead to disappointment. Expect the unexpected. The only constant in life is change.
In regards to a workday, I like to call it play. I am playing with graphic design, video editing, content creation. I am trying to be someone who doesn’t have to kill their inner child. I want that inner child to play free, to see the world in all of it’s glory.
A perfect day is one of consistency. I started a routine 2010, but at that time it was more forced by school and work so it wasn’t one set directly by me but I made it work. And in building a routine and sticking with it, week in and week out, month after month, you look back after a year and you’re like damn, I was able to get all of that done?
But like I have mentioned in previous episodes, I was neglecting sleep, I wasn’t respecting myself, my entire self. I was just GOING! Go, go, go. Collapsing on some days so hard I was barely able to get out of bed.
It wasn’t until 2014/2015, where I started to prioritize sleep and the need for it to be productive long term.
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So the perfect day begins with getting at least 6 hours of sleep, 7 is pretty perfect, 8 I can feel a bit groggy unless I am just exhausted and crash right through the night.
Now, I have become a morning person. My preferred wake up time is 10 am. But I have Ranger Danger who needs to go out so I wake up at 8am unless I take him out for a late night walk so I can sleep in a bit, but you want to talk about routine, he is strict with his routine, he likes to go out at 8am and 5pm. And it’s truly amazing, right at 5pm he is up from his bed walking around, no matter what, the time change, whether it’s a dark 5pm or a bright sunny sky at 5pm, he knows when it’s 5.
But for this perfect day, I will say 10am wake up, my internal clock is really good and usually wakes me up at 9:30, I will just lay there thinking, about my dream if I can remember it, the day before, the day ahead. If I do remember my dream I will pull out my phone and start jotting down details that I can remember and if it’s a lot that I can remember I will jump on the computer so I can write faster and with less mistakes, tend to do a lot of spelling errors while typing on the phone.
Mornings for me are so important. I feel as humans it’s the most alive, the most limitless we are, is in the morning. I don’t think of anything environmental, just live in this moment, right here, right now, thinking of your place in this vast universe. Lay there with your eyes closed, in a sort of lucid dream state and let your mind wander stress free. You don’t “have to” do anything, but wake and be. Embrace that each and every morning.
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I wake up, think on the vastness of my life for a bit, pull the covers off, stand up to get out of bed then walk a few steps to go to the bathroom then wash my hands, wash my face, brush my teeth put socks on, get dressed to go outside, take ranger out to do the same. And I only mention all of this, because I feel like we overlook how many different things we do in a day. Every action, is a thought, is energy being used, is time being taken.
As an artist we can feel overwhelmed, like damn I didn’t get x,y or z done. Where did all of the time go today? I didn’t do anything.
Well break down everything you did that day. Write it out, step for step. You woke up, you pulled the covers off you, you stood up, you brushed your teeth hopefully, and then what? You scroll on your phone, check the 100 apps looking for any notifications you missed? Then boom, 2 hours is gone.
How many different directions is your mind being pulled in? our focus is a struggle. Hard to aim these thoughts of ours. And we are more distracted than ever. I struggle with it too, I am not belittling you for it, speaking from experience here. Everything we do is habit forming. It’s hard not to wake up and check the phone, I know. I do try to wait, I like to collect my thoughts, especially if I can remember a dream, if I go on a social media app, I can forget details of it right away. I like to lie there in bed in that lucid dream state, trying to relive the experience I just had for as long as I can before opening my phone to write it down.
So after I walk Ranger and come back inside. I brew my coffee, breakfast of champions. Then I go to my home office set up and start up the computers.
The night before I like to write down a to do list for the next day, a lot of times I have it for the week, but things come up every day that change, have to be pretty fluid, and when you have a consistent schedule, you are better at adapting to those environmental changes that are out of your control.
So if I get out of bed at 10am, I like to be on the computer ready to go by 11am. I check my to do list, put on my headphones, pick a playlist and dive right in. Now the playlist I choose will be based on what I will be doing.
Another major part of my routine since 2009 has been listening to music while I work. I wouldn’t be able to do anything that I have done with out listening to music. I listen to music while I write, while I design, while I video edit, all the time, which is why it was so hard and grueling for me to edit both audio books and this podcast every week cause I can’t listen to music while editing audio, my brain goes into hyper ADHD mode, thrashing about left and right, like I NEED SOMETHING TO DISTRACT ME PLEASEEE.
It was a real tough adjustment for me, especially with the first audiobook, it was something I didn’t even consider when going into it, was how hard it was going to be to work without listening to music. It did cause me to take longer, I just couldn’t get into a flow. It was a learning experience and when I approached the second audiobook, I was fully mentally prepared and had a process in place which made it much easier. Always learning, never not learning.
But I do have these different playlists on Spotify that I like to listen to. I have a Morning Playlist, with Moby, Kid Cudi, Drake, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Led Zeppelin, J. Cole.
And in listening to this music, goes to the larger point here of routine. Building this routine, this consistency that will allow you to go on days that you may not want to, on days where the motivation isn’t there to go forward. I have those often, and as someone who is self employed, it’s up to me to push myself. I have clients that set deadlines yes, but it’s not like a boss calling me, hey you’re late to work today, get your ass in here.
So on those days I am not feeling it, this routine really helps me push through and more often than not, after a couple hours, I start to get into. And this happens because I get out of my own way. So often we fight the flow. We try to swim against the current, but we forget that we have to remain calm in order to float. Not everything is in our control, we can only control what we do. Things will happen. Computers will crash, programs will crash, exported files won’t work even though you have been doing the same export for years all of a sudden just won’t work – don’t know why, it’s the same process, just this mP4 decides not to work, power will go out, internet will go out. Fire alarms will go off, dogs will puke, muscles in your back will go out causing so much pain it’s hard to move, hard to even get out of bed, migraines will arise that cause you to clench your eyes shut and bury your face in your pillow or under a blanket so not a hit of light can hit your eyes. All of that will happen, anything that can happen will happen as Murphy states.
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And one thing that has helped me with consistency is writing out on a calendar. It gives me a reminder everyday, if you have an important meeting, write it down, write it all down, get it out of your head and down on a digital calendar, this will alleviate stress, will allow you to focus more on the task at hand, if it’s important to you, you will make time for it.
So from 11 am – 1pm I am on the computer, headphones on, drinking my coffee, working on that task for the day. 1pm I have a reminder that goes off to eat breakfast.
My perfect breakfast, and one I have been mostly eating with slight variations since 2009, has been an everything bagel with cream cheese and a banana with organic unfiltered honey drizzled on top. I have also worked in parfaits at times, with granola, banana and blueberries, with a bunch of organic unfiltered honey poured on top. And then I will make my second coffee of the day to drink after I eat.
I allow my self 30 min on my schedule to eat and am back on the computer by 1:30 working on the same task I was before, but most of the time it’s a different one. I try to complete one thing in that morning session, so that when I come back to the computer I am working on something else from 1:30 to 5:30. Getting up occasionally to get water – stay hydrated friends! Water is important and your brain needs it to function!
At 5:30 I take a break, let ranger out, eat dinner. In a perfect day, I like to read around this time. I bounce from book to book, hard for me to just be reading one book at a time. I get back on the computer around 7pm and work until 11pm sometimes later if the task at hand demands it.
Now, I know this seems like a lot of time on the computer and I try to find balance when I can. But I truly love what I do, which is why I can’t call it work, I call it play because I am having fun.
The time really flies by when I am locked in. which is why I have set up on my computer to say the time at the top of every hour, it’s one thing to just look at the time, but there is something about having the computer say “It’s 1 o’clock” that keeps me grounded, especially if there is a timed deadline.
But after I am done with the night set, which again, I try to have another project or task during that time.
Good time here to say, multitasking is a myth! You’re not multitasking, you’re switch tasking, taking twice as long and making more mistakes. Can talk more about that at a later episode, but a schedule like this, keeps you from multitasking.
At the end of the day, I try to say that I left it all out there. I gave it the best I could. If I were to not wake up the next day, I can put my stamp on this day and be content with the effort and energy I put forth.
At the end of the day, I turn off my computers and go to bed to watch some TV. Sometimes it’s a new movie, a lot of the time it’s the same show, just something to unwind and pass out to. Usually crash around 1am.
It’s hard for me most nights to sleep straight through the night. It’s usually 3 or 4 hours then I am up and trying to get back to sleep. Which is why on some days I will crash in the middle of the day during that 5:30 pm break. The best sleep I have had as an adult has been during naps, especially unplanned naps, just crash and go off into oblivion, another dimension, is this us at our most human?
Indefatigable means, persisting tirelessly. A good routine is how I have been able to persist. I am not saying what I have done is the best or anything like that. But I will put my work ethic up with the best of them. I don’t think anything in life should be taken seriously, and be so hard and drill sergeant with it, because the universe laughs at that. Why take life that way? Let go. Go crazy. Go nuts. Dare to stand out. Why not? Be seen in all of your glory. Do something goofy.
Ask yourself, what all has brought you to this point in life? How much of it was pushed by you? How much of it was pulled by your environment?
Out of the 92 moons around Jupiter, how many of those could have hit Earth and sent it’s trajectory in another direction, butterfly effect, another human came into being instead of the one who great grandfathered you, you aren’t here, another human is, as a result.
We are made of multiple stars, not just one. The same elements that make us up can be found throughout the universe.
Here is a poem from A Bleaceful Sleep that I would like to end on.
I hope sharing some of my routine, may help you as you find your way as an artist, or just thinking of ways to be more diligent with your time. a digital calendar can be really helpful, can be that crutch in self discipline. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it takes time and like I mentioned, there are always environmental factors that will push and pull in different directions. It’s out of your control, you can only control how you react to those obstacles, to those challenges, no one on this planet lives without challenges or obstacles. Challenges and obstacles are incessant, which is why we have must be indefatigable, just wake and be.
Thank you for listening and reading today. And look forward to going further with you next week!