Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shifting Gears

This past week I have had to shift gears away from writing my novel, Loves Deception, in order to concentrate all my efforts in preparing for the release of the new section on this webpage that will reveal details of said novel. I have these chapters that are just ready to spill out on the pages, so it has been difficult to set aside writing my novel so that I could finish a series of character paintings and a few prequel short stories, but I know I didn't want to have the burden every week of coming up with new content for the new section to the webpage especially where I'm already committing my extra time to writing a weekly article and shooting and editing a weekly video. However this is life. If you are like me you already have a great deal of demands on your time and it's difficult to take on new projects. I know in an earlier blog I already went into detail about goal setting, touching a bit on time management but I'd like to go a little deeper into that today.

We are only given so many hours in a day that are divided into sleep, eat, work, family, exercise, fun, etc. So when you take on a new project and you already feel that your time is pushed to the max, where do you get the new time to accomplish it? I have no idea how to get more than twenty-four hours out of the day and that is the truth. I have found two things in time management:
  1. When I have lots of free time nothing gets done.
  2. When I try to overfill my time I get burned out and I have to abandon something that was important.
I'm not sure if the previous points are universally true but they certainly are in my own life. The first one is the universes biggest mystery. Here in Baghdad I don't have free weekends or days off so this doesn't happen very often to me here, but back in Idaho I would see the weekend coming and think of all the things that I'd be able to get done with my time and the first thing to do would be RELAX. And the relaxing would take all that time I could have used to be productive and destroy it and I'd sit there wondering where it all went. I think that this phenomenon happens because there is an illusion of extra time that really isn't there so the tendency is to push off the important things till later but later never comes. I wrote in the earlier blog that you have to do what is most important first. I hold that to be so true because doing anything else will leave you disappointed.
In the second point I think it's easy to see the importance with what you're doing with your time. Life needs to be balanced. Too much free time can easily lead to not being able to accomplish your goals just as much as overfilling your day can stretch you to the point of abandoning your goals. I'm a firm believer in writing down what needs to be done, but very flexible in how it is written. I don't think it matters if you are planning down to the minute or just putting the basics down on a month long calendar. The important part is you are stopping to write down what needs to be accomplished and planning your days accordingly. Draw your attention back to the beginning of this blog, I knew that in my limited amount of time I couldn't do everything I wanted, something had to give so I could put together the material for the new section of this webpage, and I wasn't willing to give up eating or sleeping in order to do it. If your writing is important to you, you need to find room for it and that may mean that you need to give up something else. If not you run the risk of burning yourself out and scrapping your writing goal which might rob us of a very powerful story.

So this week I want you to look at your time and answer these questions:
  • What needs to be done and how much time does it take?
  • To accomplish what you want where can you shift gears in your life to make it happen?
  • Are you spreading yourself too thin?
Now write up a schedule to assist you in managing your time so that you accomplish all the important things in your life. Don't forget free time can be scheduled too!

Keep checking back this week for the new section!

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