Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Juggling, or Time Management

First of all, sorry for the late posting.

UPositive News
Drollerie Press has accepted my short story, "Mr. Wolffe's Side of the Story," for publication in their Little Red Riding Hood anthology! Check out their website, http://www.drolleriepress.com/. I'll let you all know pub date when I get it.

I swear, I swear, I swear, UPositive.com is almost up and running!

My CD, UPositive Life Coaching's Relaxation Technique, is hot off the soundboard! It'll be available for $9.99 (download; plus mailing for hard copy snail mail) on the website. After using the process a few times, your body will remember the relaxed state and you'll be able to reach it in seconds! Thank you, Tom Roady (http://www.tomroady.com/) and Big Bang Theory Studio for the excellent job and friendship!

With the expert help of Lance Yelvington (http://www.cybercountry.com/), the first two videos will be ready for the Website about when it goes live. Each month www.UPositive.com features a creativity challenge (with prize) and a goal attainment tip (May: fun). I hope you'll visit the Website more than once a month, but come by at least that often to enter the contest!

Elysabeth, my favorite cyberperson and great support---if you've read comments on this blog, you're familiar with her---just challenged me to address the issue of time management, or, more artistically expressed, tick-tock juggling. And a very timely topic it is (couldn't resist). In June, I'll be presenting a two-part workshop through the Songwriter's Guild of America (http://www.songwritersguild.com/) on Time Management for Creative People.

I'm not going to give it all away here---not enough time, and I want you all to come to the workshop! But I'll chat a bit about some of the balls that we keep in the air (or try to) and add some pointers. Anything you would like to add, suggest, ask, challenge...please feel free to post your comments!

Similarities between juggling and time management: (1) We all want to juggle lots of balls at once; we all have busy lives, with family, friends, career, hobbies, free time, creative pursuits, health, mundane tasks, meals, sleep, TV, and relaxation (I'm sure I've forgotten things, like dancing and gardening and jousting and Aunt Millie's 80th birthday). (2) We need to start with one ball in the air, then add the next, then the next, then the next....not throw them all up at once and expect them to stay airborne immediately. (3) Sometimes a ball falls to the ground, usually through no fault of our own but due to the force of gravity and the weight of lots of objects.

Differences between juggling and time management: (1) We are human and balls are different from people, responsibilities, and dreams. (2) The people, responsibilities, and dreams we try to juggle are of different weights, or importance; it's much harder to keep unequal objects flying around than to juggle balls of the same weight and size. (3) Sometimes something falls; with juggling balls, that's not catastrophic: with our lives, sometimes it is.

One of the essential keys to time management, and juggling, is to learn your own rhythms. Do you gain more momentum and accomplish more by getting small, easy tasks out of the way first, building success that then fuels the 'big jobs'? Or do you never get to the big jobs if you start with the small ones? Do you accomplish more by tackling the biggest, most pressing task and getting it out of the way when you're still fresh in the morning?

What time of day is your most productive? When do you have the most energy; when is your mind most awake? (This can change over the years, so don't expect it to be same for you at age 21 and then at age 52.) Try to schedule the priorities during that time.

Are there annoying steps that you need to tackle before getting to the good stuff? Can you set up a reward for yourself so those are accomplished? Everything has a sequence; if you're tackling the end of the sequence before you accomplish the middle steps, you're not managing time very well, and you'll end up spending more of it cleaning up the mistakes that are made.

Are there days when you wake up ready to tackle long lists of numbers and other days when adding two plus two scares the bedoodles out of you? Can you take advantage of these variations in yourself and grab the tasks you're in the mood for? (Be careful of objective deadlines---those have to be met first.)

There's a lot more to be considered in managing time, juggling the clock and all the to-dos of attaining your goals. Hopefully, these thoughts and questions will improve how you're already using time!

Comments, thoughts, questions, all appreciated!