Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Do you work with time or against it?

Author Joy E. Held always brings excellent advice in her guest posts and today is no different. All writers, whether we are juggling another job or working as a writing mommy or both can benefit from time management advice.

Someday's do you just feel like pulling out your hair, or lose your stripes? The always-evolving need to manage my day efficiently reached a new level this week as my daughter is now walking! But maybe we are looking at this all from the wrong perspective? So without further adieu, I give you Joy Held.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea at my blog for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

“Time management” is an oxymoron. We can’t possibly manage time. It does what it wants regardless of our efforts to wrangle it into submission. It marches on no matter what. Trying to manage time is frustrating because it’s a little like herding cats or nailing Jello (trademark) to a tree. Time has a mind and a mission of its own. Time cannot be told what to do and it cannot be beat into submission. But time rules the world and we will continue to know frustration until we develop a different relationship with time.

We can either work with time or we can compete against it. The competition idea is largely responsible for our feelings of frustration. “There is never enough time to get everything done,” we say out of habit. “I make lists, but there isn’t enough time to get it all done in a day.” While lists are a proactive method for dealing with our frustrations about not enough time, they too can cause us to “grrrrrr” at the end of the day’s allotted time when we realize how much of the list did not get accomplished.

Try feeling time instead. It’s a practice born of meditation’s ultimate lesson in patience. Begin by, and I hesitate to say it, setting a stopwatch or timer when you practice meditation. Do not set the timer for ten minutes, close your eyes, and breathe until the timer goes off. With the timer at zero, first close your eyes, push the button, and breathe. Meditate until the feeling arises that the session has come to an end. Open your eyes and see how long you have practiced. Regardless of how many minutes have passed, end the session. Do this daily and the time you meditate will gradually increase on its own in a natural way. Putting a time limit on your daily meditation practice is contradictory to the purpose. The purpose is to love your time here, not manage your time here.

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,


I will be hosting a live webinar on September 26 6:30-8 PDT with Farm Dogs USA titled ‘Caring for Special Needs Dogs.’ My lecture will be based off my book, ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’ along with new research I have found. Click here for more information.

Some great writing time management advice that I read this week came from author Kait Nolan. Check out her post, ‘It’s Easier to Maintain Than Rebuild/Redue.’

Don’t miss Bob Mayer’s insightful post, ‘Thriving in the Chaos of Publishing.’

I also loved Kristen Lamb's post (though I normally love her stuff!) , ‘The Devil in the Details- 3 Ways to Make Your Writing Shine.’

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