Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Value of Default Mode

A "default" plein air day.

A friend of mine recently mentioned being on "default mode". As we talked more about it I began to realize the value of being in default mode. We all do things by default. You know, the things we do without considering whether or not we want to do it. The things that are in our routines. It makes life so much easier. Fewer decisions over what is on the agenda make it easier to get to the agenda.

A while ago I designated Mondays as Marketing Mondays. Like most of us, I hate all the paper work, marketing stuff, errands, and any other miscellaneous tasks that involve my work, but aren't the fun part. Years ago I read that I'd need to spend at least as much, if not more, time marketing than creating. I was, of course, in denial about that for a very long time. Probably until I designated Mondays for marketing! Then I soon realized I could easily designate 2 days for that, especially since I lumped EVERYTHING besides painting into that designation. So, now I have 1-2 days a week as default mode marketing/everything else days.

What about other defaults? Well, yes, I've begun to see the value in having default painting days. Most of my painting buddies don't have as much time as I do to paint. I'm very fortunate to have at my discretion the ability to make my own schedule, but I know that until I really designated my default paint days, I found SO MANY other things to do, because if I got up in the morning and wasn't especially fired up to paint, well, no one was expecting me, so I simply found something else calling my name that day.

Default mode has simplified my life - and aren't we all looking for that! I'm developing default exercise. It's a given that I exercise at 6 am 3 mornings a week, go to kickboxing (which I love!) once a week, and take Riley the dog for a walk at noon. Except Tuesday because that's my (default) day with my painting buds. I haven't quite mastered default on the workout yet. I have to admit that some mornings I head straight for the bathtub instead of the workout corner. But I have managed to keep the walks up consistently.

The value of default is that it gives me structure without too much restraint. It gives me freedom by setting a schedule so that by the end of the day or the end of the week, or the end of the year, I'm not feeling bad because I didn't do what I intended to do. It gives me freedom to thoroughly enjoy my "free time" with no guilt lurking in the back of my mind. And I actually accomplish the things I set out to do!

So what default mode do you need to set, or reset, in order to make the things happen that you want to happen?

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