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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Overbooked Breakthrough

I’ve been participating in a workshop by Janet Conner called Plug In the Intersection for Writers and All Creatives.   This Teleclass is based on Janet’s book writing Down Your Soul.  Please check out her website to learn more about the process. 

 

As part of the class we are writing every day.  I have had many habits developing a daily writing habit.  It could be that I spent most of my professional life as an instructional designer.  In this role I write other peoples stories.  Whenever I get around to my own story, I stuck.  I decided to take this class to see if I could shake something loose. 

 

journalGiven my schedule I had difficulty finding the time, so I decided to do my soul writing before I went to bed.  Sometimes I write about what’s bothering me and ask for guidance.   Sometimes I pose a question and see where my mind takes me.  Regardless of what my day has been like I always write down at least 3 things that I’m grateful for. 

 

But here’s the best part, I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in at least a year, since I started this practice, I sleep all night.   I wake feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.  If I happen to be having a tough day, I know that I have an opportunity to write it down and turn it over at the end of the day

Manage time or Create Space?

At time running both my jewelry and consulting businesses can be overwhelming.  It’s easy to get caught in the details and lose sight of the actions I need to take to move me toward my goals.  One area that I wanted to further develop this year was my writing.  I put a blog and Facebook page in place, but somehow I kept getting caught up in my administrative tasks, plowing through email and regular mail, paying bills and other admin tasks.   I dig in, make progress and before you know it, the day is over, and like dusting a new wave of email and other tasks are waiting to be cleaned up and I feel too tired to work on more important projects.

 

At this point the reality that I need to face is that I always seem to have a lot today.  There will never be enough time for me to create everything I want to create, read all the books I want to read and so on.  Running both my glass jewelry and consulting businesses can at times be overwhelming there always seems like there is a lot to do.  I keep trying to develop a routine, but what I’ve learned is that there isn’t one.  Every week is different and I need to put a structure in place that keeps me grounded, and creates the space for me to work on new ideas, and keep up with a myriad of business and personal tasks.

 

I read David Allen’s Book, Getting things DoneÒ, and put his system in place for managing daily, weekly and monthly tasks.  I use both and electronic and paper filing system, so I don’t have to worry about handling time bound tasks like paying bills.   It is quite freeing to know that once, I set a small task for a specific day; I don’t have to worry about it. The area I need to revisit managing projects and evaluating the amount of work I have to do as well as my capacity. 

 

This week I’m going to put two things in place, David’s concept of the weekly review.  I’ve learned I can’t have a consistent routine, every week is different, so taking time to look at the week ahead every Friday afternoon, will help me to determine what’s important, what to work on when and identify any patterns or structure that will give me the freedom I need to be creative.  This will also help me to evaluate what’s working as well as what I need to do differently. 

 

colored-blocks

The second thing, I’m going to try is to set up 3 hour blocks of time each day that I dedicate to key work areas.  I won’t work in every block each day, but I think this will give me the focus I need to make real progress.  I’ll start here this feels like a bit like a sliding block puzzle game.   

 

 

 

I need to play this game like a kid, if the blocks don’t work, or I get frustrated I can change the size and shape to keep it fun and interesting

 If think if I combine the weekly review with creating the space I need to manage the variety of work I do each week.  My intention is that this will dedicated focused time. Here are the key areas I’ve identified:

·         Creating dichroic glass jewelry and gifts

·         Writing

·         Consulting

·         Sales

·         Marketing and Public Relations

 

It will be interesting to see what new patterns emerge as I move in this direction.