The Gift of Time

In 2011, I’m going to guard and protect my time as if it were a living being in need of my ninja skills. #learntosayNO

The other day, I declared the above goal on Twitter.  I hope I can succeed.  Of all of my personal goals for the New Year, this is the one that matters most.

Time.  It is far more fragile and precious than we treat it.

I challenge you all to think about time this year. How you use it.  Why you waste it.  If you squeeze every last drop out of it.  If you wish it away.

I promise you, if you do the latter, you’ll ultimately wish you had it back.
Respect your time.  Make other people respect your time.  Demand that.  Do it for yourself.  Do it for your family.  Do it for your sanity.

I am now declaring publicly that I will protect my time as if my life depended on it.  While I’d love to read all your scripts and manuscripts, write projects for you and with you, promote your work, read every blog post, watch every short film, and spend hours helping all of you, I simply can’t.

In 2010, I accomplished more than I ever could have dreamed.  I squeezed every second out of a day… and then some.  But in doing so, I reached a breaking point that threatened to push me over the edge of sanity.  I gave too much of myself without nurturing myself in return.  I can’t do that for another year.  It will kill me.  Most importantly, I missed far too many moments with my teenage children, who are growing faster than I care to admit.

Will I continue to be your Twitter Pimp Angel?  HELL, YES! But I will now ask myself each time a request comes my way, “If I say yes, will I resent it later… will it distract too much from my own goals… will it take too much time away from my family?”  I urge you to ask yourself those same questions when your time is on the line.

I have no doubt I am at an impasse in my career.  I am right there.  So close I can taste it.  I need to grab that brass ring, and to do that, I need time to continue to prepare myself, and my writing, for when the ring flies by on the carousel of this insane ride.  I need to be ready for the opportunity.

I need time to do that.  I deserve to give myself that gift.  My children deserve it.

Are you using your time to its fullest?  More importantly, are you really nurturing yourself enough?  How do you juggle family and career?  Do you feel balanced?

I’d love to know how you all manage your time.  I could definitely use some advice.
I wish for you a glorious year of love, success, happiness… and the time to enjoy it.
Happy New Year!


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12 thoughts on “The Gift of Time

  1. Amen to everything. Lamentably, I find that when I do have the "time," I tend to waste it on trivial things. Procrastination? Yes.So for the new year, I make a promise to myself that I will take the gift of time when presented to me and use it as stepping stones to my goals and dreams.

  2. Marisa, I work really well under pressure. I think a lot of people who procrastinate do. One trick I've learned this year is when I find myself procrastinating too much, I set a timer for 30 minutes and work as hard as I can in that time. Often, I can get things done that would have taken me 2 hours!

  3. Lord knows I can't help with time management itself–I think there are too many personality types to give global advice–but I think it pays to be self-aware. Can you recognize when you feel overwhelmed soon enough to pull back without damage? I look at the yesses and noes and take the temperature of what do I think is easy, fun, hard, needed–and then be gentle about doing those hard things, right now when I'm busy and unrewarded for the effort.

  4. I've been thinking about time lately too. In fact, using my time in a productive manner is one of my biggest resolutions this year =D. Wishing you all the best! Good luck! 🙂

  5. Sometimes I feel paralyzed with how much I need to do. I have noticed that if I 'do' rather than focus on the fear of doing a lot more gets done. Here's hoping we both keep our sanity and accomplish all of our goals. Happy New Year! Thank you for commenting on my blog, that meant a lot to me.

  6. Good girl! Don’t forget, everyone is happy taking as long as you’re happy to keep giving.

    Here’s to meeting all YOUR goals in 2011!

  7. I’ve been working a lot on time management. I’ve figured out a kick-ass schedule to help me find more writing time and get my other stuff done too. (Like you, I mentor writers so I know how it can be to have everyone needing or wanting your attention.) I love my new schedule. It’s a doable one, the best I’ve ever tried. I’m definitely getting more writing done, and that makes me happier and more content.

    Thank you for this blood-stirring post. I loved the passion you expressed this with. I’m bookmarking this in my most special folder called Wild Child Dreams & Goals.

  8. This past year I have moved from writing a book in solitude to being an active member of the Twitterverse, and it has changed everything for me. It has a) given me an audience I never had before, b) given me reason to really apply myself & use my gifts on a regular basis, and c) it has landed me an agent (Per what I told you on Twitter as Saint_Upid today).

    But yes, it all takes time. It has been a real challenge to balance a) my day job (which has nothing to do with my vocation whatsoever), b) my writing, c) my networking, d) my involvement in my church, e) my time w/ my wife & our 5 cats (Ha!), f) family & other friends, and g) eating, sleeping, pooping, etc.

    I do need to learn to say no, and I thank you for writing this post. I shall start saying no more often, starting today. As for you grabbing your brass ring, might I suggest you go for a platinum one? They tend to be stronger, more aesthetically pleasing, and are not associated with brass musical instruments like trombones. Unless you are a closet trombonist. If you are, no harm, no foul. 🙂

    All of this to say… KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, AND GRAB THAT RING BEFORE GOLLUM GETS AHOLD OF IT.

    Truly,

    CTJ

  9. Some great comments, thanks!

    Boonies Chick, I’d love to know what this new fabulous schedule of yours is… or do I have to torture you with Twizzler whippings to get it out of you? 🙂

    Yes CTJ, a platinum ring it will be. I also find it fitting my novel is called The Ring That Binds…. I think it’s a sign I need to stay focused on the writing!

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