Easing Work Flow: Six Simple Things I'm Learning from Didgeridoo

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When I practice, perform or record with didgeridoo or work on making a didgeridoo, I can be really focused on what I’m doing because I enjoy it so much that nothing else matters. But then there are those times when I can get so caught up in the "HOW AM I GOING TO GET ALL THIS DONE??!!" mindset that it nearly destroys the joy I take in being a creative entrepreneur and artist.  This is a leftover mindset I learned in my many other past jobs where I constantly had to think ahead, multi-task and hurry through the work. In short, I've become a bonafide workaholic. Can you relate?  If so, here are six things that didgeridoo is teaching me to help keep things simple and make my workload a little easier.

1. Just relax and do what's in front of you

Just this alone is a game changer. Practicing of didgeridoo (or any instrument for that matter) helps to narrow the focus to what you are working on in that moment by breaking things down into manageable, bite-sized chunks. 

2. Don't worry about the "how"

I can relate this to learning circular breathing. The more you focus on the "how" of anything the less likely you are able to do it because the mind can get so wrapped around the axle in thinking how it all "should" work. If this happens just go back to tip #1. 

3. Just simply enjoy what you’re doing in the moment

Who knew you could learn this from a hollow tube then transfer this experience to your work life? Focusing on the joy and experiencing the benefits of playing has helped me to enjoy the more tedious tasks of my business by focusing on the benefits of those tasks instead of thinking of them as odious. 

4. Take your time. Breathe.

This is a BIGGIE for me and it may be for you too. In this world, where we hurry to accomplish as much as we can, we can end up missing the whole point of doing the work in the first place. Learning to use breath with didgeridoo has taught me to simply hit the pause button and go outside for a break. 

5. The best work will get done in its own time

And not a moment before. Working on songs for didge (or any other instrument) is a process that really can't be forced when you're doing your best work. This is the practice of patience and just knowing that the work will get done. 

6. When you finish, you have every right to pause and smile for a job well done

This is pretty self-explanatory but sometimes in workshops I have people take their right hand and pat themselves on the back for getting through a workout. You've worked hard to finish the job so why not give yourself a pat on the back for it? You earned it. 

So there you have it. Six simple things you can do to help make the workload a little easier. In my own practice of these, I find that some are easier than others. For those that are a little harder for me, I stay patient and just know, eventually, I will get there when the time is right. It's not always easy but it's getting easier as i begin to shake the work-a-day mindset. Feel free to share some of your ideas or observations in the comments below. I’d love to hear them. Also, if you find this helpful, share it with your friends. Especially those whom you think may be workaholics. 

Many thanks for reading and take it easy



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Pamela Mortensen

Performer, musician, composer and mad scientist of sound and soundscapes. Mostly plays didgeridoo but also plays keyboard, sings and loves synthesizing sound both digitally and organically.