Thinking About Time

A few months ago, I attended a workshop about being a productive writer. Even though writing is a passion, it is pushed out of my priorities as other tasks crowd into my time. I hope this post is helpful for anyone who keeps a calendar as a new way to think about the time you have.

As part of the workshop, the speaker asked us to reflect on what are the myths that prevents us from doing what is important (in my case this was writing). Folks went around the room, giving their insights into what prevented them from being successful.

There were many types of reasons given for what keeps us from our work that is important to us, and as you can guess the number one answer was time. Reflecting on time, I realized that it often makes it to the top of almost everyone’s lists of “what keeps us from focusing on something of meaning to us.” The speaker then shared something that I will not forget.

“Look at your calendar – your calendar tells the truth of your priorities – what you schedule is what you believe is important.”

I was jarred. I looked at my calendar and it was filled with items that were not about writing. If fact, there was no scheduled time on my calendar to do what was most important to me---the very work that I most enjoyed.

Further, “If your calendar does not reflect your priorities, then schedule what is most important to you first (from family to writing in my case) for the next 4 months and build the rest of your schedule around it.”

It was a great reminded me that only I have control of how I view my time and move through it.

While I, just as you do, have many “must do” things on my calendar, work included. I found that freeing myself to put what I valued most on my calendar first gave me a sense of control embrace what I value. I have stuck to this schedule for the past two months and find that I no longer feel that I set aside what fills my bucket, thus increasing my resiliency in my professional practice.

Does your calendar reflect what is most important to you?