Way back in January, I decided to try out a new-to-me technique: selecting a theme word for the new year. So now it’s time for the first quarterly report. According to my old MBA training, anyway.
Have you tried doing this theme word thing? What word(s) did you pick? Or did the theme pick you?
I settled into my year of “Discovery” and never looked back. Until now, that is.
To say it’s been a while or to mention there may have been a lull between posts, is an understatement — to put it kindly. Where on earth did the time go?
Part of the time got lost in the long nights of winter, the Pacific Northwest being known for its rarely-sunny winter season not to mention the latitude-related lack of daylight hours. Sleeping, snuggling, and hunkering down are natural for me, year in and year out, during this quiet, dark, cold season.
While waiting for spring, besides sleeping, I spent time patiently absorbing and observing and experimenting and learning: test driving and tire kicking and trying on for size. Pondering. Wondering. Second-guessing.
Trying out new methods and techniques, adjusting and re-adjusting in search of “what works for me” …and what doesn’t. What might work for you, what might not.
You could even say that during this time I rediscovered some of the lessons we already know but tend to forget — or would prefer to forget. Maybe you already know these lessons by heart?
- Like the hard lesson that there are no shortcuts. Or maybe there are shortcuts, but they are not worth the taking. Or that shortcuts take longer in the long run. (headsmack) Except for when they work and then it is glorious! (evil grin of temptation)
- Like how beating your head against a wall hurts your head more than it hurts the wall. (Not sure how that works if the wall is a paper screen or hmmm what about if it’s a tent?) Jury is still out on this, in certain situations.
- And like the one about how doing the same things will keep getting the same results you always got. Unless you just haven‘t stuck with it and tried hard enough yet? (another headsmack and a zippy short circuit)
- Like the way to find a workaround when you are stuck on something: Get out of your head, take action, try stuff and see what happens! This one, I am pretty confident in saying, is a keeper. For me, and for you.
Some of the time over these three months plus, I practiced. Practiced new skills, new approaches, looking for new perspectives. I eventually remembered that a practice is exactly that: practicing how to do something. With “do” being the operative word. Heck, I’m even doing the tai chi thing. (Stop laughing!)
Sometimes, with practice, we get better at it. Usually. And sometimes it’s time to cut bait.
I’ve discovered (and rediscovered) some things I love to do, and re-prioritized some of what I do, and stopped doing other things. Time management would be too grand a word for what I have attempted, but the results are nonetheless fascinating.
For example, this is my first post of the new year. Remarkable, I know! (sheepish snort)
So tell me, do you have issues with time? setting priorities? staying on track? Do you dash after the next shiny thing and the next and the next after that? OOOOOOOOh, me, too!
Many creative people do. It would be surprising if you didn’t. So don’t feel bad about it!
Awareness is a good first step to finding a solution to these kinds of stumbling blocks. Next is finding a replacement approach, a positive one.
Have you found helpful ways to organize your days? Your weeks? Your months? Your years? Does time run away with you? Do you ever feel a need to organize your time? Organize your workflow? Organize your thinking?
More specifically: Do you know what you have been doing for the last three months? Do you know what you will be doing in the grander scheme of the next three months, the next six months, the next year or more?
If you don’t know, you are not alone, and it‘s worth taking a little time to figure out. I’d be glad to help you explore and discover that. I’ll be writing about it here, and meanwhile keep on discovering and sharing what I learn as I go.
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