I belong to a writer’s group where people can become “accountability buddies.” The idea is you and your buddy check in with each other on progress and encourage/support each other. It’s a great idea, but one I rarely do as my own planning/overplanning does the job and then some. If anything I need someone to help me to slow down.
I joked to some friends that I needed an Irresponsibility Buddy. Shortly after making that joke I realized it’s probably a great idea.
Here’s how I see it working.
Pair up people in whatever creative group or groups you’re in as Irresponsibility Buddies. Your goal is not to encourage productivity – far from it. Instead your weekly checkins would ask such things as:
- What did you do to relax?
- Are you having fun?
- How’s your stress level?
- And so on as long as it has nothing to do with “hey, how much did you get done?”
Again, I am serious. I certainly could have used this, except too many of my creative friends are as driven and anal-retentive as I am. It would be nice to have someone check in on you without risking taking a friendly check-in as more pressure to perform.
Other creative groups – writers, cosplayers, etc. – could also build Irresponsibility into their meetups and checkins. What did you do not related to your project? What is a fun thing we can do together that is totally a waste of time? Is everyone slacking off appropriately?
When I look at these ideas – which I would have laughed at ten years ago – I think they’re more needed now than ever. This is because creative hobbies and efforts have changed in the age of the internet and late-stage capitalism.
We’re under more pressure to monetize things all the time – and have the tools to do it. We’re in a social media microscope and feel accountable, pressured to perform, and in competition with everyone. Everything is moving fast and we’re just trying to keep up (without asking if we should).
As many of you know around the middle of the year I slow down, doing less “scheduled” projects, taking time to experiment, etc. In short I’m going to have fun and get in touch with my creative urges that are all-too-often yoked to a schedule. Of course as I find Project Management fun, I cause my own problems a lot, but I recognize it.
Let me challenge you – how can you get irresponsible and unproductive?