I've written a lot over the years about bringing an experimental mindset to both art and life making.
A beautiful thing about experiments is that we are comfortable with them “failing,” aka producing an outcome that we didn’t intend.
A beautiful thing about experiments is that they are intentional: we state a very specific hypothesis, and then choose an approach to the experiment— the steps we are going to take to carry it out.
A beautiful thing about experiments is that we collect information afterwards, and adjust our future actions accordingly.
Putting on my “experiment” hat makes me feel a little safer with making changes and starting new things— what is the worst thing that could happen? I get an unexpected outcome and adjust.
My current experiment could be called something like, what happens when I’m really deliberate about taking my own advice?
You see, I talk to my clients a lot about getting intentional with what they are spending their energy on, and about choosing small amounts of time each day on actions that support these intentions. I want to make sure that I practice what I preach.
(Without waiting until that one big project is over, or my life “settles down” or….)
Each week, as part of my experiment, I try to make a little bit of time for:
Resting/white space/doing nothing
Moving my body
Connecting and collaborating
That one pesky admin task
And, a couple more extended chunks of time for the creative work that takes my best mental/emotional energy (right now, working on class curriculum for the fall).
These are activities that I either
- Value/care about putting in my life — OR —
- Need to support my bigger intentions (“that one pesky admin task")
Your list of things might look very different, depending on your needs and what you’re working on.
As part of my experiment, I am making time to reflect a couple times a week on how things are going: Where am I feeling stuck? What’s going well? I am a human that loves structure, so I’m using this worksheet to help me check in. You can download it below or change it to fit your (perhaps less structured) needs.
The point is this: to gather some information over the course of the month about how things are going; to pay attention; to notice and adjust.