Friday, January 17, 2014

Priorities


“Action expresses priorities.”

Gandhi

“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

Stephen Covey

Tonight I was listening to The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  He said the professional does not identify too much with his work because that increases resistance by making the stakes too high.  Instead, Pressfield says, it is better to take on the “lunch pail” mentality.  What I do is a job, nothing more, nothing less.  My work, writing, is not who I am; it’s what I do.   Though I don’t get paid (yet), I am a professional.  I show up every day and I do my work.  As I’ve said before, writing is not a hobby.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love it; I do.  But this is work and sometimes I think I need to take it more seriously.
With nearly 400 blogs written, it’s probably safe to say, that I’m taking this seriously.  Oh, I have fun with this, just like I have fun in other jobs I have.  I also love what I do.   It’s important to me.  I can’t imagine not doing this.  Perhaps I take this too seriously, but I increasingly understand the need to put at least some emotional distance between myself and the results of what I do.   Otherwise, I set myself up for disappointment.
I published my very first book a few months ago.  It sold a grand total of eight copies and I bought two of those.  If I were taking this too seriously, that would have devastated me.  A lot of time and energy were put into that book and the nearly complete lack of reception was painful.  But I certainly wasn’t devastated.  In fact, I plan to publish two more in the next nine months.  Still writing is not my identity.  It’s not who I am; it’s what I do.  Sometimes the lines blur.
To be more effective at this, I need to consider everything I do to be in one of three categories:
1.  The things I want to do.
2.  The things I have obligated myself to do.
3.  The things I am no longer willing to do

In the first category are the following:
·      Being with my Muse, every day
·      Working towards my goal of my house near the beach
·      Taking care of my key relationships
·      Taking care of my health
·      Increasing my income
·      Enjoying my life.

In the second category are mostly things I enjoy, but come from the normal obligations of life:
·      Work
·      Cleaning
·      Eating, sleeping and showering

I think that anything and everything I do should fit into one of the categories above.  If it doesn’t I should stop it.  Here are some things I should drop:
·      Any kind of drama or self-pity from others or from me
·      All forms of negativity, prejudices and hatred
·      Complaining
·      Fear.

All I want to do is focus on the important things.  I want to use my time better.  Writing is usually the best use of my time.  Spending every moment I can with my Muse is the best use of my time.  Honestly, there are few other things I’d rather be doing.  There are few other things that give me as much joy (except for the people I love).  So tomorrow I want to wake up and spend as much time with my Muse as possible.  I want to spend as much time writing as possible.   I want to Get Started and Keep Going and stay focused on my priorities.