How do you work?

My whole life, I’ve worked in structured environments.

Banyan at KFIIf anything, the first school I went to, The School KFI, from kindergarten to 7th grade was the most unstructured. We had an amazing campus and often classes were held under the trees – including the banyan tree in this post. Kids were free to wander around and commune with nature if they wished (meaning you could get up and leave a class with no explanation!) and every day, we had an hour of PT to finish the day. There were also no exams and no concept of real competition – if you ran a race and won, you were told everyone was a winner and there were no prizes. It was awesome. One of the best schools for a child.

But then my parents realized this was not preparing me for the real world and moved me to a much more academically rigorous school, one that embraced competition, meant to prepare me for India’s grueling national exams (in the 10th and 12th grades). Then, I went off to college, where there was more structure, then to work at a manufacturing company, then to graduate school (where we even had assigned seating in the first year!). Since graduating, I’ve been employed every minute. Until now.

At work, in pretty much every job I’ve had, meetings and deliverables ruled how I spent my day. But now, I have nothing…

No structure. No deliverables. No deadlines. To get stuff done, I need to create my own structure. I need to figure out a way to ensure I am moving my writing and my other creative projects forward. It is too easy to spend the day on chores, surfing the web and classes.

Any ideas?

  • sundeep

    Welcome 🙂

    Well, sorta…I don’t quite live like that any more, but I’ve definitely been there. Shri, there’s nothing I can tell you that you don’t already know…it all comes down to doing what you want to do when your time is yours. If you want to do chores, surf the web and classes cause that makes you happy, then that’s what you’ll do. But if getting a film out the door THIS WEEKEND is what’ll make you happy so you can have it up on your MySpace Filmmaker profile by Monday and in several short film competitions by Tuesday, then that’s what you’ll do and nothing will stop you. The problem with acting is I had to wait for my phone to ring for auditions…I of course did everything I could to make that phone ring with the rest of the time. As a filmmaker, you have *control*…you can literally take out your camera, shoot something this afternoon, cut it this evening, and have it out for feedback tonight! Maybe go find some kids playing under a banyan tree….

    Actually, that leads me to another idea. Maybe instead of text blog, you commit to keeping a videoblog? That way you’re creating film on a regular basis….

  • Shripriya

    Thanks, Sundeep. I like the idea of the videoblog. I considered it. Till the end of the year, I have some other deliverables that will make this hard, but maybe it is a new year’s resolution. I’m considering some strategies to make myself more productive. I will let you know if they work.

  • Ricky

    Since i quit the corporate world and started a toy design company 3 years ago, i have been living in this unstructure time. My first thought is to enjoy this unstructured time, it might be a long time before you’ll have this opportunity again. Very soon, various projects and commitments will kick in and then all your time is taken by this or that deadline.

    To make sure I stay productive, I created 2 lists of things to do. A list for chores, and a list for the creative projects. But don’t put deadlines on them. I work off either list depending on my mood and try to balance them over the week. Browsing the web, or just taking a walk can be a creative time if you are in the right mind set. You need to set aside a fix time to be creative, and you can also mix the creative time with other tasks.

    Alway carry a notepad with you. You never know when a spark of an idea is going to hit.

    Let me know what end up working for you. I would love try a new and different way to find balance in my life.

  • bhuvana

    Hi
    I would like to hear more reviews about The School, Chennai. I have been considering it for my daughter. I would also love to hear views of those who followed the system through and through.
    thanks, bhuvana

  • bhuvana

    Hi
    I would like to hear more reviews about The School, Chennai. I have been considering it for my daughter. I would also love to hear views of those who followed the system through and through.
    thanks, bhuvana