Lately, I've had to rediscover my methods of time management.
I started a part time job outside of the home, and while the hours are great in regards to my child (I am still able to drop her off and pick her up at preschool, meaning no one else is inconvenienced to do so) - it's not great for writing. Or for the gym. Or for the other things I WANT or NEED to do. And because I get home with her in the afternoons and we've been apart all day, she wants to spend time with me and I'm staring at my growing list of obligations thinking "wow - and that's not even allowing for time on my novel" (which uh has a deadline).
What's a girl to do?
Are you in this position? Wanting to write, needing to write, wanting to make a deadline that is self imposed or otherwise, and find yourself flat OUT of time? It's tricky, because sometimes we think we have no time and we do, and other times, we really do just have too many obligations and have no time to spare.
I'm sort of in the middle right now. I DO have a lot of responsibilities (2 part time jobs from home, 1 outside the home for 4 hours a day, a critique/editing service on the side, all the housecleaning/cooking, sole care-giving for my kid, book deadlines, maintaining several blogs, book marketing, bill paying, playing taxi and keeping my little girl's schedule of Wed Night church and her once a week ballet class, etc.)
Some of those responsibilities (like house cleaning) is a personal priority and choice - but isn't necessary to top the list. Unfortunately. We CAN survive if the laundry stays piled up or the dishes tower in the sink. My OCD neat freak self just has to get over it. Other responsibilities (like deadlines for the newspaper I freelance for, or working my other from home part time job that pays me monthly) HAVE to go to the top of the list.
And try explaining any of that to the four year old who just wants to snuggle and watch cartoons with Mama.
I've been riding an endless cycle of guilt trips lately - guilt over not being enough to spread around, guilt over not feeling as if I can give anything up - and you know what I've realized?
When you make time for God, you get holy time warps.
Seriously. I don't know if this is a supernatural feat or if it's simply a matter of clearing your heart/head for priorities to shine through, for focus to shift, and for perspective to change but hey - regardless, I'll take it :)
When we make time for devotional reading, for quiet time, for worship, for prayer - we win. The clock fails. Sure, there are still days of stress and feeling overwhelmed, but when I'm consistent in this commitment, everything somehow smooths out and gets done. I feel less stressed, I do more work with a clear head, and I can focus.
Some things simply can't be written in a How To book, because they're just not that complicated. Too busy? Well, here's my How To Make More Time book, in a single sentence:
Why don't you try it this week and see? Report back to me please! Either here or on my personal email, firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to see how God blesses your time in exchange for your obedience :)