Tag Archives: time management

Too Busy

I’m too busy.

A variety of things have converged on my schedule for the last three weeks and for the next three. This six week period is the busiest time I can ever remember. This is when my training of “one day at a time” really comes in handy.

But really. What does “too busy” mean? Too busy to do what? To meditate? I make time for that. To appreciate my husband, my home, my health, my life? I make time for that. To work in the garden, to play with the dog, to buy groceries? I make time for all those things. To have lunch with my girlfriends? To read? To study? I make time for those things, too.

When I say I’m too busy, what that means is that I busy out my schedule just enough so that I don’t have time to do the things I find most distasteful or inconvenient. I don’t enjoy bookkeeping chores, so I put those off until it becomes a project, and then it looms larger and I would rather kill the beast than to have the bulging file folder stare at me a single minute longer. There are other things I don’t particularly enjoy, and my excuse is: “I’m too busy.” But that’s no excuse at all.

Except for right now, of course. Right now I really am too busy, but there is an end date to this crazy time, and I swear upon all that is holy in my life, that I will never let my schedule control me the way it has these few weeks. I don’t like what it does to my mental health, or my physical health. I tend to not exercise (low priority…). I make mistakes, and then I have to clean up after myself, adding more stress and using up more daylight.

I heard the other day that if you want to live in the material world, you have to speed up, and if you want to live in the spiritual world, you have to slow down.

A friend sent me a link to this fabulous timer. I’ve downloaded it to my desktop. It serves either as a timer or as a random reminder. Every morning I set it to go off randomly every 7 to 15 minutes, and when the gong sounds, I sit back, close my eyes, and take a moment for myself, to remember that I am a beloved child of God, no matter what. This helps slow me down and reminds me of what’s important.

Are you too busy? Or is that just a good excuse?

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Filed under peace, Possibilities, Spirituality, Stress, time

Has Summer Destroyed my Work Ethic?

I’m out of practice. Out of sync.

And I think it’s because I don’t have a deadline.

Normally, I get up, get coffee, and get to work. I stop briefly for breakfast with the husband and dog, and then I’m back at it until I’ve either finished my page count or am ready to shoot myself because the words won’t flow. Fiction, nonfiction, school papers… I get up and go to work.  My deadlines are met, my papers are in on time, and I get books written.

Not any more. This summer I seem to have begun to hone the fine art of fiddling around. Like now. It’s 10:40: prime writing time for me, as I’m my fictional best in the morning and the worst in the afternoon, and what am I doing? Blogging. Sweeping the kitchen floor. Doing the dishes. Brushing the dog. Hanging out on Facebook.

Frittering.

Well. The summer will soon be over and I’ll have not only my thesis to write, but school papers, not to mention the current novel in progress, which I’m deeply into in my mind, but clearly not on the page. So this has been a nice summer break, puttering in the garden and making delicious home made bread for Al’s sandwiches, but the time has come to get a renewed grip on myself.

Henceforth: I will get up in the morning, get coffee, and get to work, and I will not fritter until my page count is in on fiction or I have accomplished a nonfiction goal.

This is the way things get done in my office.

This is the way my books are written. Not by inspiration, but by daily page count.

Here we go…

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Filed under Coffee, My New Novel, time, Writing

Keeping My Balance

Keeping balance in my life has always been a challenge.

I either overcommit or I have too much free time. I either eat too much or not enough. I either exercise too much or not enough. I either… well, you get the idea.

In some areas, I’ve learned moderation. For long projects–writing a novel, for example–I cannot sprint. Slow and steady. One word after another. One page after another. Two pages per day if that’s all I can manage without outpacing my creativity. Some people lock themselves away and emerge three months later, sweaty and disheveled, manuscript in hand. I can’t do that, nor do I want to be that type of person. I’d rather get up, do my page count and live the rest of my day as a normal person.

But in other areas, I find balance to be very difficult. It’s easier to be balanced when the husband and the dog depend on me for certain things at certain times.  During the holidays my time is so carefully scheduled that balance is easy to maintain. There’s no room for imbalance.

But today? Too many options. Too much free time.

I remember a co-worker one time talking about frittering away every morning, which was why she was habitually late to work. I couldn’t imagine it. I was, and am, neurotically punctual. To be anything else is an insult to whoever is left waiting.

But now… now I’ve learned the art of frittering, and need to rein that in a little bit.

Don’t I? Or have I earned the right to fritter for the first time? Can I just idly play computer games or sit and do nothing but stare at the wall?

Maybe I’m afraid that my frittering will get out of control. And for me, that’s a valid fear, since I’ve always had a problem maintaining balance.  But maybe that’s what I’ve needed all this time, too, just a little free time alone to… waste.

Hmmm…. Seems naughty.

I might try it.

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Filed under Discipline, time, Writing