Sunday, 12 July 2015

Finding Joy In The Journey - 12th July 2015

Time - Maria A Smith
Its been a good productive week on the writing front, I've managed to do lots of mini writing sessions in between household chores, appointment waiting times, coffee breaks, early morning word sprints and even a longer editing session. 
On well-being and exercise there has been some frustration, like the traffic making me too late to attend a stretch class. I was miffed after planning everything to get there, and allowing more time for travelling too. Never mind, I went in the gym instead, to do my own stretching routine. Not quite as good as being in a class, but it's still exercise.
By making myself a 'to do' list, last Sunday, I realised mid-week, I wasn't going to accomplish everything I'd set out to do. I know I'm not alone, its very hard to keep up with everything whatever your circumstances. There are so many time distractions. 
What can we do about it? 
Just Say No

The number #1 time management tool, is saying NO, not only to others, but perhaps more importantly to ourselves. We all know that every time we let something into our life, it becomes a claim on our attention. Another procrastination? 
Time is not the problem. Time 'just is' and it's how we manage it that makes the difference. We all know we can't buy anymore, so we must learn to organise it better.
I'd like to join a book group, but I know if I do, I'll have to allocate it time, and it won't just be getting to the meetings, or reading, or making notes. I'll probably have to shift other stuff around to do it, and if I mess up,  I'll lose focus on other things, and my attention will be dispersed. 
I'll end up not being able to give anything the attention it deserves, and more and more things will not get finished.
So how do we begin? 
The first step is to stop adding to the number of things we are already doing, and the next step is to start putting space back in our lives.

Focus on What Is Important

This week, why not take some time to look at what your'e doing regularly? Are you doing things that are stopping you from working on that manuscript? Having spoken to lots of writers, it seems we have this unconscious need for an ever-increasing supply of 'things to do' that give us an excuse to avoid having to deal with the more challenging things that really would make a breakthrough, like completing that novel, or subbing those stories. 
Most of us have taken on too much at one time or another in our lives. But if you can recognise this overwhelm for what it is - an escape mechanism - you can begin to break free from it.  
When you put space back into your life, you can give everything the amount of focused attention that it needs. But please don't use the time saved to do something else! Your goal is to improve your efficiency, otherwise you'll have a much bigger feeling of overwhelm than before. I've taken a hard look at my life, and decided what I want to give my attention to for now, and of course there will always be some smaller tasks that have to be managed in between the big stuff, but I know I can always change my priorities, but what I can't do, is give more attention than I have to give. 

Now the title of this post, is Finding Joy In The Journey, and it relates to the good things that happen in our lives along the way. So here are three joyful things from my week.

  • Meeting up for an impromptu tea and cake session with a good friend.
  • Feeling happy because I cleared the In-Tray of three months worth of receipts and old bills.
  • Having a neck and shoulder tension massage, followed by an intensive scalp treatment.
My week ahead looks like this...
  1. Get to the pool as often as is possible in the midst of a busy working week.
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Write 1000 new words
  4. Edit a chapter of the novel
  5. Spend an hour planning menus for the week ahead
  6. Make an appointment for an eye test
  7. Pick up some paint charts and look at colours for the lounge
  8. Tune into #writingchat at 8pm on Wednesday evening on Twitter 
  9. Spend my book token
  10. Listen to a podcast
Lets see how I do!
I look forward to hearing how your week went, what joys happened on the journey, and what plans you have for the week ahead? 


  1. It’s been a busy week too this end…so get the drift totally! More hospital apps, & more specialists but not for me, & then off to Paris- once this wonderful sojourn has occurred then my time will become freer & who knows what might be possible as I rest in the late summer sun, maybe a story or two…

    1. Oh Kay, i do hope things get sorted out for you and yours...
      A relaxing rest will fore your creativity again too.
      Sending you lots of happy positive vibes. :-)

  2. It's easy to be busy with things which aren't getting the writing done, isn't it?

    1. Yes, we are our own worst enemies. Or is it we are passionate about life?

  3. Great post, Maria - you've reminded me I want to book a head and shoulders massage!

  4. Your posts always inspire me Maria, as you seem to be battling for time to do everything in a similar way to me! Lists are the way to go, and ticking things off works well for me. The only prob is that I have about ten different ones that I need to consolidate; but at least summer allows a break from remembering stuff to do for school, like finding a waistcoat for the Mary Poppins production chimney sweep outfit and remembering to turn up for sports day. Best of luck with your writing, and with everything else on your list. Love that beautiful clock. Thanks for all your recent support for my blogs.x

    1. Oh I only have two lists Anita, one for personal stuff, and one for work related things. Apart from the sub-lists that is... :) They don't work for everyone, usually because they overload them, but I find I need a road map of where I'm going! If I detour along the way, its not as bad as not starting at all...

      Have a good week.


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

Planning Your Time - How Hard Can it Be?

Blue Skies Over Tenby - Maria A Smith  Planning your time is often much harder than you ever dreamt or expected it to be, and if you do...