What I have learned about myself is that I have to schedule everything into my calendar in order to remember it all. If I have a client meeting, my kids’ have a soccer game or doctor appointment, or my husband has a business trip, it has to go on the calendar. When my friend says, “Let’s get together for coffee soon,” I say, “Yeah, we should do that--let me check my calendar!”
When it’s on the calendar, it’s really happening.
In addition to my super-full calendar, I have my long, overflowing to-do list (that looks more like a wish-I-could-get-to-this list). But to-do lists don’t work. Not very well, anyway. I like that I can use lists to “brain-dump,” jotting down of all the thoughts swimming in my head. It helps to clear my thinking and makes me feel less stressed. However, lists are not great for creating the motivation I need to actually do the things on the list.
Unfortunately, writing has been just another thing on my to-do list. And that is the problem.
Working around my calendar of appointments, my day gets filled up with life’s little details: refereeing my kids’ fights, picking up lonely, lost legos, checking email and Twitter, mountains of never-ending laundry.... Writing often ends up taking a back seat. Not because I lack the desire. I really, really want to write. I want to “have written.” Mostly, the writing doesn’t get done because I haven’t committed to it. When everything on my calendar is done and things have finally settled down at the end of the day, I lack the brain power to start the deep thinking it will require. So, instead, I just read a book. (Which isn’t a bad option, it’s just not writing.)
The truth is, I need to make my writing a priority. I need to claim that time in my schedule. If I wait for enough time to magically appear, I’ll be waiting forever. (Like waiting to find time to make the baby books that are still on my to-do list for my now 4 and 6 year old boys...) Scheduling the time to write will lock it in my calendar. I will commit to it.
Saying, “I’ll work out Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” is better than saying, “I will try to work out this week.” The same is true for any task that you deem important.
Don’t HOPE you’ll get time to write. Decide you will make time to write.
Schedule it. Commit to it.
And then we should schedule that coffee date...