Okay, I did a switch up for today.
I blame the farm.
It's just so busy right now, and that's a good thing, but I wanted to do an #ownvoices post for September, but I didn't have time to follow up on my contacts with authors of color, so I'm doing that now, and we'll talk about that in October. Which means I'm switching October's post about how to balance those plates we're given in life and keep them spinning with as little breakage as possible.
It's not easy.
You can quote me on that.
First, if you're a woman, you probably don't have a wife. Most likely no one is going around picking up laundry and delivering it to your drawer, freshly washed, folded and put away. There may be someone making meals, but it's probably an 80% chance that they are not. :) You are probably doing dishes, most likely working a job, and depending on age, taking care of aging parents, running kids and grandkids to school, games, meets, dance class, study sessions, church, youth group, volunteer places, doctors, dentists, etc.
It is quite possible that you do most of the shopping, gift buying, gift organizing, party and holiday planning, set up and clean up.
Are you tired yet?
The good Lord gave us 24 hours in a day. Plus a smidge that we tuck into place every four years.
How do we make 24 hours work for us, not against us?
Habits can be our blessing or our downfall. The ability to create a habit is inherent. We train ourselves to do a lot of things habitually. If the waste company is coming on Tuesday, you put out the trash on Monday night. If the post office closes at 5:30 PM, you get your mail there by 5:25 so you don't miss it. If your child is slow to get going in the morning, you wake that one up fifteen minutes earlier than necessary to build a window of time.
Habits can make us or break us. You've heard us talk about 1K/1HR. That's a writing habit that encourages one thousand words a day in a one-hour time period. There's a Facebook group you can join and there was a Twitter group developed by author Donna Alward. A bunch of us in Seekerville are part of the Facebook group. For aspiring authors, that's a great habit, because it prioritizes your writing. When you're still uncontracted, it's easy to view your writing as a hobby instead of a job.
That's a Real Bad Habit because when that "call" comes, you want to be in the habit of getting things done. Meeting expectations. Delivering. Because if you're not in that mode, there are literally hundreds of folks in line, waiting to take your place.
Four authors recently received The Call from Love Inspired as a result of a contest... I cannot stress enough how important it is to be ready when that phone rings.
Developing daily habits helps me. My early rising time is devoted to writing and marketing. I adopted that mode because I'm a total jerk at night. When I'm tired, I'm snarky!!!! Snarky is not how I want my stories to come out, so my biologically-driven writing time is morning.
Then the work day begins and if I can get back to writing (winter!) I do it, but during farm season I have to put on other hats.
Monkeys can be trained to do all kinds of things.
So can we! :)
If you're visually inclined, plot out a daily schedule and keep to it.
If you're self-disciplined, plan your day but leave a margin for error.
One thing I do that is a HUGE HELP is to work ahead of the calendar. To get work done early, pre-deadline, because I don't do panic mode.
If there's a family emergency, I don't want to be deadlocked or nervous about getting my work done. It it's already done, I've built myself a time cushion and can attend to the emergency with full attention. Driving yourself crazy isn't the result of unforeseen circumstances. It's often the result of not preparing for the fact that unforeseen circumstances happen to everyone ALL THE TIME... and if we don't prep for them, that's on us.
Altius, Citius, Fortius.
Higher. Faster. Stronger. It's part of an athlete's creed passed down from the earliest Greek and Roman Olympians. It's simply about holding ourselves to a higher standard.
There's an old running adage that goes something like this: "If you take a day off, no one notices. If you take two days off, you'll notice. If you take three days off, everyone notices."
Habits are like that.
K-Love radio does a 30-day challenge. It's a great ploy, because research shows that anyone who does something repeatedly for thirty days has created a habit. And when we're in the groove of habits, we get the job done.
What are your bad habits? What are your strengths? What can you deep-six or downsize or give up to make your day/week/month more productive?
Leave a comment below to get the conversation rolling. I've got a copy of my newest mystery "Just Over the Horizon" to go out to one delightful person today... all commenters will be entered.
And I brought coffee and donuts to tempt you in. Coffee. Donuts/doughnuts and great books.
What could be better than that?
USA Today Bestselling Author Ruth Logan Herne writes the kind of books she likes to read, so that's a total bonus, right? And she's been known to make herself (and others!) cry, but she makes them smile, too, so she figures it balances out. Friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, visit her website ruthloganherne.com or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. She loves to chat with writers, readers, and pretty much anyone who comes along because she talks a lot, but has managed to have over 50 books published, so she must stop talking occasionally! We think...