Monday, March 23, 2015

Spaghetti Brain
My mind does not work in a linear fashion. It's more like a game of connect the dots. Oh, sure, you can connect dots to form a straight line, but for me, that's rarely the end result. Sometimes I get a duck, sometimes I get a rabbit and sometimes a plate of spaghetti.

Connect-the-dots brains work well for creative people. One idea leads to another and another and another....and eventually, the picture is complete. While this looks undisciplined to the untrained eye, the end result is often exactly the endpoint I had in mind.

Or sometimes I end up somewhere altogether different. Unlike the connect-the-dot pictures in books, the starting and ending points aren't marked. Although the start point is pretty consistent from day to day, I'm never quite sure where each day's journey will take me, and when I arrive at the endpoint, it's sometimes on a different page entirely.

As I said, this works well for creative people. Jumping from task to task may not be efficient on paper, but the end result is worth the trip, however disjointed. A mid-afternoon nap may look like just an unnecessary interruption in the linear schedule, but more often than not, I wake up with new ideas and new directions. When I'm awake, I may look as though I'm wandering in a zig zag fashion -- or perhaps even aimlessly -- but that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes, plans are overrated.
I've had a few zig zag days lately, and not only were they more productive (especially in the creative sense) than many of my best- laid-plan-days, they were more relaxing and fulfilling as well. Still, I forget this, and chastise myself during the day, recognizing its value only after the fact.

Sometimes, we need to stick to a schedule. But sometimes, it's better to connect the dots.

Which will you do today?

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