Stress, Time Management & The Writer

Monday, November 5, 2012



I’ve been feeling a little stressed lately, what with work and editing deadlines creeping up. Oh yes, I’ve been crazy enough to take on some paid editing and article writing in the last few months. Result is, I haven’t been around much. Ever notice that when you’re doing lots of things, you sometimes feel like you aren’t accomplishing much? I only slow down a little bit when things start coming together, but alas it’s not that time yet. 

Yesterday, in my email, I came across this article on Time Management, which forced me to give some thought as to how I function. The article suggests that another time management tactic is to do it tomorrow. This goes against what my mother turned into a mantra. Whenever I avoided something I had to do, my mother told me every time, never put off for tomorrow what you can do today. However, having read the article, I do see the wisdom in assigning some jobs for tomorrow, even though tomorrow isn’t promised to us.

Part of my challenge is that I stress myself by thinking I need to accomplish more than I can or will in a day. I need to cut myself some slack, realize that I’m not so young anymore and that it’s okay if I don’t get everything done according to my crazy schedule. Being too busy is a recipe for ill-health—can you say shredded nerves? And believe me my nerves are showing signs of this—and there’s no point in doing the things I enjoy if they’ve also become a source of stress.  

I had a nice email last night from someone who just finished reading Distraction and enjoyed it very much. She wanted to know when the sequel will be out, which reminded me that I had slacked off on the editing side of things for that novel. I could get stressed over that too, but you know what? I have a plan. I simply need to stick with it and stay on schedule, if possible. Beyond that, I’ll only be stressing unnecessarily over situations I can’t control.

Writing this has put things back in perspective for me. Hope it helps you too, if you’re like me and do too much all at once. This sharing is one of the things I like about blogging. When I feel pressured the blog gets left behind, but I can come back at any time, knowing there are friends/writers out there who understand exactly what I’m talking about. 

One can always dream...Poolside, Caymanas Golf Club, Jamaica.
Have fun this week and if at all possible, stay stress-free!

33 comments:

  1. As I was getting ready to go for my jog this morning, I was lamenting all the stuff I had to do today-- could I get it all in? Taking care of me is a must and helps me do the rest with a better attitude. Everything else goes on a list to be knocked off as I'm able. Some stuff will be put off or neglected. And that, I guess, is life.

    By the way, how fun that you received an email about you book! GO YOU!

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    1. As I get older, I'm realizing the things that are most important. My health is one of those things. Without it, nothing else can happen. Thanks!

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  2. See? You get more fans by the moment J.L. Dream away but don't forget your editing.

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    1. Thanks, Sheena. So much in life is about finding the right balance and it's so easy to forget that.

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  3. I do the same thing about expecting too much from myself. I'll go easier on myself if you do too, JL! :)

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  4. Ha yes, stress. I know it well. Thanks for the reminder about taking care of the important things like health!

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    1. No worries. A timely reminder for me too.

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  5. Congratulations on the fan mail. I love those kinds of letters.

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  6. You can write about stress and you can stress about writing - tell us.

    Congrats on the fan mail.

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    1. Peaches, I much prefer not to stress, but if I'm not careful, it does creep up unnoticed.

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  7. Yep, time management has a great way of alleviating stress. Your post comes as a great reminder.

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  8. I'm like you - I always think I'll get done way more in a way than is possible. I need to get back to my lists.

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    1. I try to remind myself that I won't get more done in a day that I was ordained to. That helps keep me sane when things back up.

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  9. We're so alike. I try to cram 24 hours work into 12. When it's impossible, I become stressed. It's a vicious circle. I'd like to be relaxing at the pool in your photo right now. I'm off to read the time management article. Perhaps tomorrow will work for me, too.

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  10. Thanks for making me dream of that pool- oh, to relieve stress by lounging there!

    All the best with editing Joy!

    Nas

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    1. Thanks, Nas. I'd love some time by that pool now.

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  11. I've been feeling the stress too. But I think I will have much more free time after Thanksgiving and going forward. I just have to make it until then.

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    1. Hope you manage to keep things on an even keel.

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  12. I'm the world's worst at time management so I can relate. I've been stressed over NaNo but am trying to just chill out and enjoy the process.

    That's so nice that you got an email about Distraction. I'm not surprised though as I know I am looking forward to the sequel too. :)

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    1. NaNo is fun for me until I start to feel the days are creeping by and my word count isn't keeping up. Editing this year will be less stressful.

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  13. Scheduling things for tomorrow instead of today sounds like a great plan. Sometimes I look at my to-do list, see all that stuff on it, shrug, and think I'll never get it done anyway, so why bother? It can be overwhelming. Good luck with your time management!

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    1. Thanks for dropping in. Lists can be stressful if we allow them to be. Love your attitude.

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  14. Stress is a killer. I'm up early to finish m blogging and my writing before I head out -- but if I can't manage enough of both, I'll just try again tomorrow. The more stressed I am, the less I write, so I'm learning to give it up, breathe, meditate, go for a walk or swim.

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    1. So true, Damyanti. Stress doesn't help creativity.

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  15. Joy, you're not alone. I seriously have between 40 and 60 things on my to-do list every day. I am starting to put off some of the projects I thought I could do simultaneously with others, which has taken some stress away.
    Thanks for this nice reminder.

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  16. That was a helpful article. I'm always stressed and worried about time. I get things done, but it's not easy and my to-do-list is always present. One good thing I've done these past few years is try to tackle harder tasks first so I get them out of the way.

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  17. I'm usually more productive when I'm stressed, the problem is there is a fine line not to cross because if I do, I fall apart and can't seem to get anything done. But time management is certainly something I need to work on. Now, how to get the kids to adhere to the schedule....hummm.... (;

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  18. Thanks for the reminder that we don't have to do EVERYTHING today! I need to remember that. And on your HWC post-- great job! I only got 2 exercise sessions in as well, but 2 is better than none. :)

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