You know the feeling you get when you’re so involved in something that you simply can’t stop?
It’s not that you really can’t stop, more like you don’t want to (because you’re so deep in the middle of something that might work, or something exciting, or something that is looking perfect). From one creative to another I’m going to tell you a secret about those moments. Are you ready?
Whenever you’re feeling like you shouldn’t stop working: stop.
Stopping when you’re feeling in the prime of a work of art or a project can do a lot of good things for both you and the work. The biggest impact of stopping while you’re deeply involved in something is that it gives your brain time to re-energize and therefore keep pressing on long after that prime moment has passed.
Consider this: your brain breaks down glucose in order to create energy to think, essentially.
In-fact: right now, as you read this, your brain is burning through about 1.5 calories a minute, just to think.
When you dedicate yourself to working on one project or piece of work for an extended period of time, you’re burning through a lot of energy with your brain and, just like any other muscle in the body, you risk wearing it out quickly.
Take a break and give your brain a rest, the best time to do so is right when you’re in the middle of feeling on top of all the work.
By stopping when you’re in that “perfect” moment of creation, you’re not only giving your brain a well‒deserved break, you’re also ensuring that you have something to jump right back into when your break is over.
If you’re a writer it’s the middle of a great sentence. If you’re a painter or artist it’s the moment when the lines and colors and shades are all starting to come together.
Stop when you feel like going on forever, your brain and project will be extremely glad you did.
Photo by Frederic Bisson.