Blending

Hello everyone. The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is TRAFFIC. Please pardon the little traffic jam if two posts popped into you In-Box; it appears the issue’s sorted now.

Last week I read a post over at POCKET , one of these articles that pop up as suggested reading when I open my browser. This was about spending the first hour of your day reading inspiring or useful books/articles, and meditating, sorting the day’s tasks. Stay OFFLINE, he says; NO checking Facebook, e-mails or phone messages.

This writer claims that if you give attention to “short stuff” like checking e-mail or the traffic on your blog, it sets the tone for your whole day. Hopping. Unfocused. Not able to prioritize and concentrate on the day’s work that needs your attention.

I do believe the author had a good point. Woe is me! So not a highly effective person. My first stop is to feed our demanding cats, then make a cup of coffee. While I’m drinking it I check my In-box and respond to incoming short stuff with my own bursts of blab. I don’t do Facebook, though; I do RDP and try to write something half-way inspiring for you all to read. Does that count for meditating?

This writer’s a time-management consultant, as I recall. What about a mother whose first few hours are spent attending to the family? Likely she gets up earlier and has a few quiet moments to sketch out her To-Do list before interacting with her family, but her first hour is often spent on small things like breakfast cereal choices rather than reading and meditating.

And there are retired people like myself who seldom have anything particular on the “Must-do-today” list. Rather, I seem to spend a lot of time hunting for and/or picking up small things. 😉 I guess each person has to set their own priorities and choose a plan for the day that works best for them.

I was blending all these thoughts this morning as I watched the coffee swirling around in my mug, and came up with this little verse, which you may call “stream-of consciousness.” Meditating: check. 🙂

BLENDING

Coffee in my cup
swirling round, blending,
cream and sugar with
plans for this day
swirling round, sorting
the tasks, the hours.
Decisions to make
establishing priorities –
coffee being first –
swirling around, blending
with a prayer that time
will stretch to cover –
and the energy pool
be deep enough to rinse –
today’s most important.

Time to Write

Time Management Woes

As you may realize, this past winter I’ve become increasingly frustrated with my lack of order and productivity. This isn’t new; all my life I’ve refused to be a slave to schedules and To-Do lists — but this has left me with a case of chronic indecision. Bogged down with “Where to start?”

Also, I’ve been a hoarder. Part of my effort to make improvements I’ve already written about: decrease the paper clutter; finish small writing projects. But the bigger projects still await my attention — and zeal. Too many “Started, not finished” projects are like a stone holding your head under water.

This week a book title popped up in BookBub:
10 time management choices that can change your life.

I checked it out and decided to take a chance. I’ve have been working my way through it in the past few days and it’s been nailing me right and left. Addressing issues like why you never get done the big things because of wasting time, indecision, procrastination. Creative people who hop from one project to another. Never finishing — or starting— a project because you’re too much of a perfectionist. Examples of others who sound so much like me. Ouch!

From what I’ve read so far, I can heartily endorse the book. How much benefit I get from it depends on how many changes I’m willing to make in my day-to-day activities. One quote really hit home, citing my prime nemesis:

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” Goethe

Now I’m thinking specifically of my writing projects sitting on the back burner. The books I’ve written for NaNoWriMo, for example. I can see how lack of accountability and lack of a deadline have stalled me. You could say, “Filling my days with the things which matter least.”

I was once a part of a writing group that met once a week and was a real inspiration to keep working at my writing. I miss that. So I’d like to ask you readers for your suggestions. I’m looking for online writing partners or a group that will add some pressure, some deadlines.

Last night I googled and checked out online writing groups, hoping to find one where members exchange chapters for critiquing. Some beta readers or an editor who will reply in reasonable time and won’t cost this penniless writer a lot of dough. Not a given weekly writing assignment, but feed-back on my WIPs. (By e-mail; no Facebook, Yahoo groups or Skype.)

I’m hoping to find a few critique partners somewhat on my own wavelength. I’m happy to give feedback on others’ writing but don’t want to have to read ten zombi and/or horror chapters a week just to get feedback for my own mild tales. (Been there, done that once.)

Any suggestions? Anyone interested in reading and critiquing, sharing WIP projects? If so, please leave a comment, or email me at christinevanceg @ gmail.com