Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
We need to be deliberate in our choices: we will begin; we will begin now; we will begin now imperfectly. By being deliberate we take the drama out of the situation and get down to what's important - the reason(s) why we want to do [fill in the blank] in the first place! I am forever making a simple situation complicated by layering on worries, perfection, guilt, responsibilities and all manner of unnecessary stuff rather than just going ahead and beginning! Don't be a me!!
We often wonder how. How do I get to [art, meditate, sewing, etc.] when I need to do everything else? Schedule it on the family calendar where everyone can see it. Be deliberate about the choice of time rather than trying to shoehorn it into whatever time is left over after everyone else's schedule is on the calendar. Then honor the commitment by showing up for the appointment and doing [art, sewing, meditation, etc.] at the appointed time.
Be consistent with the appointment so that it becomes as much a part of life as going to ball practice on Saturday mornings or church on Sundays. Fiercely protect that appointment against encroachment. (If you don't take the appointment seriously and do what you say you're going to do, don't expect anyone else to take you seriously!) Be prepared to get the most out of that appointment by thinking ahead: what do I want to accomplish, what supplies do I need, what prep work do I need to do ahead of time? Then do whatever is needed.
Make a project list. Refer to the list for direction rather than do mental aerobics trying to remember that great idea you had last month so as to not waste unexpected opportunities. Keep a kit with you - a sketchbook and a pen or pencil at minimum - at all times so that you can take advantage of "downtime" opportunities as they come along.
And last but not least, focus on the good stuff! Ditch the stress! Beating ourselves up for not doing something, not getting enough done, and/or not doing it well enough is not only extremely counterproductive it serves no purpose. After berating yourself, are you really more motivated? Down that path lies discouragement, demotivation, and eventually, we may even abandon our goals as too hard, too much, too draining. Use that energy to celebrate accomplishments instead, no matter how small. If I drew 5 minutes every day this week, I'd celebrate that rather than beat myself up for not finishing a painting.
Some other ideas to explore: use a timer to put yourself on a time budget so as not to spend too much time on the fun stuff and not enough time on the not-so-fun stuff; be flexible; accept that with some things, good is enough; learn to delegate; learn to say no - every time you say yes think about what you'll have to give up or won't be able to do; change your focus to what you have and what you can do with it rather than what you don't have and wishing for it; be grateful for what you can do and for what you get done!
Good luck and let me know how it goes!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It seems a lot of us are suffering from being "out of sync", "out of balance" and just plain old "can't get it all done." This post is about some of what I've learned about time management, procrastination, the evil of perfectionism and the woes of not knowing where to start, what to do, or when to do what.
Here is Part I:
Act! Now. Today. This very moment. Now, wait a minute, I hear in chorus from those of you reading this post. Are you crazy? On what?! When?!! How?!! Read on!
Let's start with what. The "what" or "where" doesn't really matter - just begin! Instead of beginning, we waste time trying to figuring out the perfect place to start, the best method, which step first, whether we'll have enough time, how far can we get, what we'll do if we do it wrong, or get started in the wrong spot. Whoa, enough already! Just begin!
Be willing to begin imperfectly! When you think about it, what do we begin perfectly? Very little, it's just that we have more faith in other beginnings and so we do not mire them in guilt, worry, perfectionism and procrastination. Need a plan? Okay, make one, but don't mistake it for a start. Plans are good, even desirable, but they are worthless if we do not begin! Nor do they guarantee against misadventures, mistakes, detours, or interruptions. If we are willing to accept that a beginning, no matter how imperfect, is better than no beginning, we take a huge step forward.
If not now, when? There's always going to be obstacles to the flow, interruptions to the process, detours that will come up, unforeseen. Accept that, and begin anyway! Why wait for that perfect, uninterrupted block of time we all wish for, dream of and pine for when you know it's not likely to happen?! Consider that if we worked on our drawing skills for just 5 minutes a day, at the end of one year we would have worked on them over 30 hours! Unrealistic, you say? 5 minutes a day for 5 days a week and you'll still have over 21 hours!
How many opportunities do we let go by that we could be accomplishing something because they're imperfect - not enough time, there are other people around, it's too late, too early, too hot, too cold, it's raining, it's dark, it's light, too tired, too stressed, too [fill in the blank]. We procrastinate by confusing needs with wants. Do we need to do this thing OR do we want to do this thing? It comes down to acting on the imperfect choice.
To be continued tomorrow!