Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Time Management Tuesday: Week Three Of Developing Discipline With Meditation

If this were not a discipline initiative, I would continue with the mediation but blow off writing about it here because meditation is one of those things that's difficult to see results from. What am I supposed to tell you here, particularly in relation to meditation and time management? No, I am not noticing any big difference in my management of time, especially since I've had unusual things going on here the last few weeks in relation to my nonworking life. Sickness, sick relatives, elder care--those things pop up at their pleasure and wreak havoc with a work schedule, making it difficult to determine whether or not something you're trying is having an impact on your self-discipline.

As if two weeks of doing anything would have an impact.

This is the issue, though, with much of what we writers do with our time. Everything is a gamble, and we often can't tell if the gamble paid off. Will the ten or fifteen minutes spent meditating instead of writing make a difference and when? Will the time spent developing workshops and author presentations instead of writing advance our careers? Will the time spent studying process instead of just hoping all the words come out on the paper okay mean a real improvement in our work? Will the time spent self-publishing an out-of-print book generate sales for it? Or should we have worked on a new book instead? And, of course, the question that is raised over and over again and never, ever answered because no one can--does the increasing amount of time authors spend marketing instead of writing make one bit of difference to their professional lives?

The ten-to-fifteen minutes a day I'm spending on meditating instead of writing is nothing compared to all the other so-called work related activities I'm involved with instead of writing.

Brain Pickings has a little essay relating to Annie Dillard and the tradeoffs between presence and productivity, though it's less about the gambling I'm talking about and more about living mindfully. Not terribly helpful for those of us who really want to produce more, but those who don't want to forget "how to be truly present in the gladdening mystery of life" might appreciate it.

Next week will conclude our Developing Discipline With Meditation arc here at OC. After that, I'm going to do a time management summer reading series. We'll begin with Manage Your Day To Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind, which is already loaded onto my Kindle. This book may or may not deal with some of today's issues relating to anxiety over which way to go with our work time.

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