Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time is on Your Side - you can make it work for you

The world has gotten busier and faster, thanks in large part to technology. Everything seems designed with a need for speed. For some things, that's wonderful, but not for everything. Remember the adage - haste makes waste? It's true. But part of the problem is the perception of time. People think they don't have time, so they shortcut or eliminate. Or try to do too much and become worn out and frazzled. Authors are no exception to that rule.

It all depends on how you look at time.

I was once like those people who said there was no time for things. I'd look at the clock and say it couldn't be done. Then I discovered something - time is what you make of it. I have my microwave to thank for that, and my need not to stand around and do nothing. I learned that while I nuke something for a minute or two, I can be doing something useful - like unloading or loading the dishwasher. It's amazing what you can actually do in a minute, rather than just watch it go by.

You have to learn, in other words, to view time differently - and to learn to manage it.

Start out with knowing what you need to do. A to-do list is invaluable. I keep on on my computer. When I finish a task, I mark it done, which leads to a sense of accomplishment, and is a visible way of showing that I'm getting things done.  Have a planner, rather than try to remember everything. I received my first one from my daughter Sarah for 2011, and I wasn't sure I had a use for it, but it was one of the best gifts ever. I bought one for myself for 2012, and wouldn't be without it.

Look at what needs to be done, and sort the tasks in your mind in terms of priority. What should be done and when. Obviously, you can't do everything at once, so pick a task, focus until it's done, and move on.

The writers with EDJ's (evil day jobs) will protest that their time is limited. You're right, so make the most of it. Actually, I think having limited time inherently forces you to utilize it better. If your time is more unlimited, you tend to be more cavalier with it, a fault which I am trying to correct, even while trying to find an EDJ so I can work until I can afford to quit it and write full time.

Remember too - you're not Superman. Everyone has limitations. If you take on too much, you'll be sure to fail. But if you learn what your limits are and stay within them, stretching them as you grow, you'll do much better.

And remember to make time for the important things - like living and enjoying life. Do the things that you enjoy, otherwise why are we here? It'll make a big difference in how you perceive the rest, and how you spend you time. Spend it wisely!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

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