Friday, January 15, 2010
Retreat Weeks Can Be Productive
So, here I am, back from my retreat. No, we did not stay in the cabin to the left. We hiked there on snowshoes yesterday. That's my back you see in the interior shot. I'm stripped down to my thermal undershirt, which, I believe, had a paint stain on one of the cuffs. Can't imagine how that happened. As my companion said, we didn't look as if we'd come up from the resort; we looked as if we'd come down from the mountain.
While retreating, I refused to check my e-mail. It was a lot easier than I would have thought, in part because Internet access was so slow at our timeshare unit last week that there wasn't a lot of temptation to go on-line. This morning I decided that I could live like that. Not without e-mail, but without checking it so often. Certainly without checking it first thing in the morning.
I check my e-mail first thing in the morning, and if I find things from family members, I feel compelled to blow off thirty or forty minutes of valuable workout/workbook/worktime responding. Or sometimes I get inquiries from people regarding appearances. I blow off valuable workout/workbook/worktime responding and almost always never hear from the inquirer again. Sometimes I'll see listserv e-mails I want to respond to. And there goes some more workout/workbook/worktime.
Wouldn't life be better, I thought as I lay on my wonderful bed at my mountain guesthouse, if I waited until mid-day to check my e-mail? Wouldn't my day be off to a much better start if I tended to my workouts and that so-called writing meditation I've been doing in my workbook and then got some real work behind me before I faced whatever turns up in the e-mail? Wouldn't I accomplish so much more? Wouldn't I at least feel better?
Then, while I was still lying there in bed, I came up with this idea regarding my listservs. Instead of wallowing around in all of them every day, why don't I assign each one one day of the week? I only check child_lit on its assigned day. I only check the kidlitosphere on its assigned day? I could go on and on re. all my listservs, but I'm sure you get my point.
With all the time I'll be saving with the e-mail plan, listserv assignments, and avoiding tabloid news stories, I should be able to write a new book every six months.