Lack of Time Kills--or Does It?

How many times this past week have you said: "I just don't have time to do everything."

Actress Marilu Henner said, "Lack of time is a real health killer."

I totally agree.

Wait a minute.

No. I don't agree. Actually, it's not lack of time that kills one's health and, potentially ends one's life. It's how we use time, how many obligations we assume, and how we feel about the failure to meet obligations.

Mea Culpa

I find myself blaming lack of time for not exercising, for not spending enough time with my loved ones, for not giving enough attention to the mundane daily activities like taking care of home and all that tedious stuff, and for not getting my projects done fast enough.

Do You See Yourself?

Sound like a familiar scenario? The real culprit isn't time. It's how we use it, how we prioritize, and how we feel about all our obligations--in other words, the stress to which we subject ourselves.

Mostly, I feel overwhelmed. Too much of the time. Do you?

I find myself over-scheduling my days, underestimating the time needed for some projects, using my high energy mornings for low-priority tasks, then there's that desire to be all to everyone, and a lot of other habits that changed due to the chaotic disruption last year in my life.(Moving is stress. Moving twice is insanity.)


Starting Monday, I'm going to structure my day differently. I'm going back to the way I used to do things. I'll get my writing--my real work--done in the morning, rather than leaving it to the afternoon when I'm caught up on email and social media and all that.

Somehow, my work schedule was flip flopped, and I've found myself doing the important--but non-essential tasks in the morning. By afternoon, my brain is too tired to create fiction.

5 Tips to Control Your Time

1. Look at everything you want to do and ask yourself is it reasonable that you can accomplish all those things. Don't make it dependent on best case scenario. Make it dependent on what is possible if the worst situation exists. Then find the middle ground that is an actually normal possibility. Make what is really possible into a new list.

2. Take the new list and break it down by the time needed to get from beginning to end of each project. Pick the highest priority project--just one--and schedule it on a calendar.

3. Begin the project when your energy and intellect is at its highest.

4. When each high priority task is accomplished, move to the next on the list.

5. At the end of your work day, always ask yourself this: "What did I do today to accomplish my highest priority goal?" If your answer pleases you, then leave your office with a sense of satisfaction. If you're unhappy with your office, don't be yourself up about it. Just resolve to make tomorrow more rewarding.

Takeaway Truth

Sometimes a simple change may be all that's required to refocus one's energy and focus. Of course, most simple changes are not necessarily easy. I'll let you know how this works out. If you need me, I'll be on email and online after lunch.

I love you, Readers of SlingWords! To prove it, I'm showing the love. Everyone who leaves a comment with their email address (write it out, don't leave as a hot link) will be entered to win the September Prize. Each comment with email gets 1 entry.

Want another entry? Subscribe to either of my newsletters (WordPlay for Readers: and/or Writing Hacks for Writers: and get another entry.

After the end of the month, I'll put all names into a hat and have a friend or my daughter draw the winning name. You will be notified, and you'll see the name here on the blog and on my newsletters.

What Do You Win?

You might want to know this. Each month the prize varies. For the September Prize Winner, if the winner resides in the Lower 48, the prize is a copy of Old Enough To Know Better along with an Old Enough to Know Better Keytag.

If the winner is outside the Continental U.S., the prize will also be the book plus another gift of commensurate value --  that can easily be delivered abroad.

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