Saturday, September 24, 2005

Making Time

I never seem to have as much time as I need for everything I have on my plate.

Work, the people I love, the things I have to do, the things I like to do--they all take a piece of my day. I find that I'm getting more stringent in evaluating the value of all the little things that chew up my time.

I've always been a big person for volunteering. As a result, I find that I'm the vice president of one organization, the secretary of another, the membership chair of yet another and the critique coordinator of a fourth. I spend a fair amount of time every day negotiating emails and answering questions--all of which take a chunk of my time. Then there are my critique partners. I have in-person CPs as well as on-line CPs. These take a considerable amount of time if I'm going to do them well.

For the past few months, I have also had a goal of writing sixty pages a week. For me, that's a big commitment. I started out with ten pages a week and gradually added more as I got more disciplined and comfortable with the writing life. Now I think I'm ready to up my goal again to seventy-five pages. In order to do that, I am going to have to be ruthless about the commitments in my life. Given the energy I expend, am I getting the results I need and want? If not, what can I cut and, more importantly, what am I willing to cut?

When I worked in the emergency room, I watched the nurses do triage. Triage is the process of prioritizing patients according to their need for, or likely benefit from, immediate treatment. In order to achieve my new writing goal, I need to triage the claims on my time. Which ones are necessary, beneficial and supportive of my life goals? Or to put it another way, which ones are unnecessary, toxic and not helping to further my life goals?

It's a tough exercise, but a valuable one.

No comments: