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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Changing Your Mind About Time

I hear all the time people saying they’ll do something if they can find the time. Hell, I’m guilty of this too. I feel like there are just never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that I want to. If I can’t even get my laundry folded and put away what makes me think that I can write a book that will reach best seller status. Or whatever your goals in life might be.

And then to top it all off, there is this tiny negative voice in your head, that nay-says everything you do. Makes you doubt that you have what it takes to reach your goals, to follow your dreams. The hard part is sometimes it feels like I am hard wired to accept this defeatist attitude. I have let it hold me back before, and you know what I have to show for it a whole bunch of nothing.

I don’t know how many times through the years that I have sat down with pen and paper and began to write my book. I would be writing along at a nice pace, feeling like this time, was THE TIME. I would finish this book and get it published, but then that voice woke up and started whispering in my ear. All of a sudden life starts putting road blocks in my way to eat away at my time. Or that was the excuse I used while adding this latest notebook in the box with so many others that began the same way. To sit forgotten while my dream was once more put on a back shelf to be only that; a dream.

 When I sat down this time to begin my book I was lucky enough that I had discovered a couple of great writing groups on Facebook, and one, in particular, has really helped me to get where I am. I would never have said I could be a blogger; nominated by my fellow bloggers for my content. Or that I would have reached the 50,00-word count on my first draft. The person who runs the group has given me a new found confidence, helped me to set my goals, and offered guidance.With her help, I'm not letting anything stop me from achieving them. Her name is Jennifer Blanchard.

Jennifer is an Amazon best-selling author, speaker, and a strategy and mindset coach. She and the group she runs on Facebook: The 1% Writer’s Club helps writers who believe they will be in the one percent of all writers. The ones who are published or are in the process of getting published. We have made it our goal, and set our minds to accomplishing all that we want. That little voice has no power when you set your course and stay true to it. Jennifer has also helped me improve my writing with her blog and group posts aimed to help all of us to become better writers. She is what I think of as my writing life guru.

You're probably wondering if time still is a problem. As I stated above, there are only twenty-four hours in a day. It’s how you plan them that makes all the difference. You decide what’s important and that goes first on your schedule above all other things. And you do it! No matter what, you do it! Other things can be rearranged, but this is one thing on your schedule that is never changed. I set a word goal of five hundred words a day. They may be in my manuscript, my blogs, or in my journal; but I do it every day. No exceptions!!

When I started doing this I found that I was making time to write. I would feel anxiety if I didn’t get to write. It has become as important to me as breathing. Does my other duties and obligations suffer? Not in the least. I found by scheduling my day, I found the time that wasn’t being utilized. I had made my priorities and stuck with them. The rest fell into place around them. I know some of you are thinking, yeah but I have kids, a job, and other responsibilities.

 Believe me, I know. I am my mother’s adult caregiver, I help take care of my special needs nephew, and deal with a chronic illness that leaves me exhausted. It’s not about being rigid, but making a flexible schedule. If you generally write in the morning but have an appointment scheduled, change your writing time to the afternoon. I’ve found that sometimes a change in the time of day you write helps with keeping the creative juices flowing as much as a change in scenery.

On Saturday’s, I sit down with my scheduling notebook and my calendar of appointments. I first write in any appointments for the coming week first. I, then add in my writing time. After those two things are done, I begin with the weekly household chores. When I was working I had to do this all on my two days off, now I can spread them out. The last thing I add is the flexible stuff. The stuff that doesn’t have a deadline or that involves someone else’s schedule. Once done, I leave a blank square for what I call extras. This is for those odd things that pop up during the week that you may have forgotten about, or just seem to happen. I put them on this square and put the date completed when it is done.

Time will always be your enemy, but with a plan and a scheduling system, you can manage it better. You will see your productivity increase, as well as some of your goals, be accomplished. By the time you have it down to an art, you will have accomplished all of your goals. Remember you first have to make up your mind that this is what you want. The mind is a great helper or goal-killer if you listen to all the doubts that will creep in. Having a positive mindset, and a plan will see you reaching new heights and finishing goals. I, for one, see my books published and achieving success. What do you dream of doing? Why not start today?

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