This vintage Fisher Price fire truck toy holds court over my kitchen. It’s a friendly reminder to practice staying focused and organized. We can only do one thing at a time. When I split my time, attention and energy in too many directions, my goals slither away, almost unnoticed.
Contrast that with a fire truck responding to a fire in a direct and speedy way. The fire fighting team gets there fast and does the job. They’ve practiced and trained. They know what to do and how to do it. A well-oiled machine, and with heart, too.
The key: a clear goal plus skilled performance.
No time wasted deciding what to do next, how to do it, whether or not to do it. They just do what needs to be done. They put out fires, but they are not “putting out fires” in their own procedures. They are not distracted by avoidable miss-steps!
I’m using the little truck as inspiration for devising my own systems to keep up with show schedules, studio time, classes, events, drawing practice, record keeping. I am a great systems planner in my head; too often the implementation stays in my head, too.
The problem: some days I have so many details spinning in the air that it feels like I am spinning, too.
The solution: tighter focus and immediate, small, concrete steps.
I stop, catch my breath and wonder:
If I were Driverdude what do I need to do right now to get ready for this next thing – and the two after that?
And, with a nod to the fire truck:
What do I need to remember about this for next time – to make it easier on myself?
Like a secret friend, the little driver dude with the diabolical grin is so encouraging. He never makes me feel stupid, he just shakes his head from side to side and says: “Try it again, practice makes perfect.” Which is fine because I am not a fire fighter putting my life and the lives of others in harm’s way to save lives, I am an artist. Sometimes I even get to ring the bell. 🙂
Yes! The bell still rings clearly, the hose moves, the ladder pulls out and around and up and over, his head swivels. Push the truck across the table and it says “Bingbingbing!” while his head pops side to side. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. #ArtistsAreKidsAtHeart
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