I’m honored to be guest posting today at Andrew Zahn’s Creatives blog located here.
I think you will enjoy my post there and Andrew’s fantastic blog. Thanks!
Do you find yourself constantly in a hurry, going from here to there pushing yourself to get more things done? At some point, the daily grind will catch up with you. Fatigue. Lack of focus. Easily distracted. We have all been there.
Have you gotten enough rest? Seriously, have you? You probably need some sleep. Sometimes a nap can be the MOST productive course of action to take. DO NOT burn yourself out. Tapping into your creativity uses energy. You MUST replenish this energy.
Do NOT forget about the power of the subconscious mind.
Before you go to sleep, try doing some stream of consciousness exercises. Simply write whatever comes into your head for 5-10 minutes and then go to sleep. Your brain will run with what you were trying to piece together on paper.
The brain is a mysterious thing; it literally keeps churning away on your work even while you sleep. Don’t take this amazing gift for granted. You can (and will) get things done while you are catching some Z’s.
So go ahead and take a nap. I’ll cover for you. I’ll tell whoever asks that you are actually hard at work.
“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” – Thomas Edison
Do you fight a battle as to whether you should go to sleep or keep grinding through??
Lack of focus.
If you have not faced this today,
you will tomorrow.
Don’t be surprised.
Deal with the resistance as swiftly as possible.
And get back to work.
How do you deal with the resistance? Please share in the comments. Thanks!
About eight months ago, I attended the first Quitter Conference in Nashville. This event was led by Jon Acuff, author of the book Quitter. Jon was once a serial quitter and went through eight jobs in eight years. It wasn’t until he followed his dream of being a writer and speaker that Jon became truly satisfied in his career.
I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown when I attended the first Quitter Conference. I was stressed, confused, overwhelmed, unfulfilled,and depressed. I found out about the event literally the day before the conference. I called my wife, Kristal, early that Friday morning and said, “I gotta go to this seminar tomorrow.” She immediately replied, “Yeah, you do.”
I remember the conference being funny, informative, and entertaining but the truth is most of it was a bit of a blur. My ears heard the words, but only two key points stood out in my mind: I’m not alone and don’t listen to the voices in my head. Those voices are full of lies. Those two points are the majority of what I took away from the first event. And now I know that is EXACTLY what I needed to hear.
About a month after the conference, I rediscovered some kids’ stories about the guitar I had written a couple years ago. I emailed them to a friend who knows a lot about books and she had a generally positive response. I interpreted it as lukewarm, so I set the work aside as nothing.
After hearing Jon’s presentation at the Quitter Conference, I ignored the voices in my head. I gave up on the myth of perfectionism. Absolutely nothing is perfect. This time I looked at the stories I had written with an open mind. I realized that writing is in fact something I want to pursue. Those kids’ stories made me realize several things: I am creative, and I think I might be a writer.
For about a two-month period I really struggled with calling myself a writer. It was a new identity. It was like I was turning into someone else. Was I Jim, the mild-mannered accountant or was I this new guy who is a writer? Could I be both? Suddenly I felt mysterious and wanted to buy a Moleskine.
I met for coffee with Jeff Goins during this transition time. We chatted for a while about life, church, and just got to know each other. After I built up the courage, I mentioned to Jeff, ‘”So…ummm…I…umm…think……I might..uhhhh…be a writer.” Jeff replied “According to Steven Pressfield, You’re a writer when you say you are.”
That stuck with me. It inspired and motivated me. I began to read and write constantly. I could not stop; the snake had already popped out of the can.
Now, about eight months later, I know that I am a writer. I know I’m creative. I have always been, but I was listening to the voices in my head that fill me up with incessant negative chatter.
Now one of my life goals is to help others find where their passions lie and to encourage them to do great things. I’m sure there are MANY others that are in the same chaotic place I was in last July.
I’d love to hear your story about why you write. Please share it in the comments. Thanks.
I’m a toddler. Maybe even a newborn.
Any way you slice it, when I walk, I’m still very wobbly.
I’ve only been writing seriously for about 6 months.
I’ve been on the page-views-watching roller coaster and I’d like to get off of this ride.
My stomach is upset, face is full of tears and I think my diaper needs changed.
I’ve believed that page views are my main measure of success as a writer.
I know it is a false premise. A large portion of my page views come from Google image searches. It’s pretty doubtful that those folks are interested in reading my blog if they are here only to take an image from it. (Probably for their own blog!)
Okay, I am going to type this a few times to make it sink in.
More page views do not equal success.
More page views do not equal success.
More page views do not equal success.
Have you fought this battle too? Do you have any tips or tricks for a fellow writer? Thanks!
I often avoid being quiet.
I usually prefer a space filled with noise.
I try to avoid anywhere I can be exposed.
I think of things when it is quiet.
I don’t want you to know what I really think.
I don’t want you to know the real me.
I doubt you would like me.
So I often avoid being quiet.
Do you feel the same way or have you learned to embrace the quiet and not run from it?
Note-This post is a follow-up to Monday’s Quick Reads post: “What Are You Struggling With?”
Time is the most precious resource you have. The clock doesn’t care about your bank account balance, SAT scores, or if you are CEO of a corporation. Every day is a gift, but somehow we find a way to waste many of those days away. How do you become better with managing this valuable gift?
Focus on what you love. Do what matters to you. This is what will give you a REAL sense of accomplishment. Don’t procrastinate, just do it. This approach will also help you prioritize your work. If there are several projects on your to-do list, look at the time frame for each one, the amount of energy required and go from there.
Make a time journal. Do you know what you REALLY spend your time on? There is this handy extension for your browser called Web Timer (for the Google Chrome browser) to help you keep track of all of your time online and what websites you were on. Once you have used this extension for a while, you will figure out how much actual time you spend online. Don’t stop there. Keep note of how much television you watch, and how much time you spend on your iPhone too. Fill in your time journal and then analyze what you actually spend your time doing. Most likely you will find more time is wasted than you think. If you have a daily commute, are you using that wisely? Maybe you could listen to podcasts or audiobooks instead of listening to commercials on the radio.
Form a plan. Let’s assume during the average day you typically spend 2 hours online, 1 hour with your iPhone and 2 hours watching television. To implement a lifestyle change, start by practicing good habits. Going cold turkey often leads to burn out. Watch one and a half hours of television for a week. Then the following week, watch just one hour. Get a friend, spouse or family member to hold you accountable. You have to be intentional with your time from now on.
Start saying no. It is really easy to be a people-pleaser. If you want to make the most of your time, you need to start saying no to things. Don’t say no to everything, but you should say no to things that take you away from what you love. It’s okay to say no to good things, even if it means helping at church. You won’t have a good attitude if you are doing something you really don’t want to do. Using your God-given talents and abilities to their fullest extent is a good thing. It is what you SHOULD be doing.
Forget perfectionism. NOTHING good comes from perfectionism. It absolutely kills momentum and wastes time. Perfectionism can even kill your dreams, because it can stop you from finishing anything. You most likely won’t share your work with others either. Absolutely NOTHING is perfect; the real world is messy.
If you take nothing else from this, please just focus on what you love. Time is very, very limited. None of us know when we will die. Make the most of every moment. Be intentional with your time.
Do you have any tips for time management? I’d love to hear them in the comments.
Editor’s Note: Shorter posts are now labeled as Quick Reads and I will be publishing them on Mondays.
If you are pursuing something worthwhile, it is VERY rarely easy. Recently I told a friend, “Everything takes so much more time than you’d think it would.” I bet you can guess what my recent struggle is. Yeah, you got it. Patience. Well, that and time-management. I think the two are interconnected.
What are you struggling with? What is giving you a hard time at the moment?
Go ahead, unload that baggage. Call out that issue that keeps popping up.
Please share that issue in the comments.
If several readers are facing similar challenges, I’ll form a plan of attack and share it with you on a future post. Thanks!