Sunday, January 28, 2007

One Day at a Time

Today's questions: "How much is too much to accomplish in a given day? How much "down time" do we need?

It's barely noon on a Sunday as I write this, and I've already read the paper, worked out, edited and printed agendas for two meetings I have tomorrow, written an article about a seminar I attended, printed off and prepared to mail a copy of a 350+ page manuscript for my agent, caught up on e-mail and talked to a friend. Still on the list are: finishing another article, preparing for an online writing workshop I'm giving starting next week (with an author who has sold more than seventy books. We'll be reprising and adding to the workshop we did at a national writing conference about persistence at different stages of your career), and researching what I'll want and who can design my soon to be created acting and freelance writing Web sites. Plus laundry and a couple of other household and home organization chores.

I could choose to be distracted by pursuits such as Web surfing, TV watching, reading. I could choose to procrastinate. But then I'll just have all the more to do tomorrow.

So much of our life is spent planning for the future, both short and long term. When a friend wants to have lunch, when we're scheduling a meeting, doctor or other appointment, we whip out our calendars (mine is still a print Day-Timer) and plan around all the things we've already entered. How many times a day do you think or say, "This weekend I'm going to (fill in the blank)? Or "Next week I've got to..."

When do we live in the moment, and appreciate what we are doing here and now, instead of always looking toward what's coming next? I think many days we're so busy rushing from one scheduled event to the next we create our own stress. And we also create a false sense of urgency because there are so many things we think we HAVE to do. Don't we also have to make time to decide what we really want to do with our time?

Time is our most valuable commodity. We owe it to ourselves to do the best we can to choose and control how we use it, rather than allowing it to control us.

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