Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Time Management Tuesday: Don't Be Ashamed

A few years ago, I wrote about time shaming, the attitude that writers who struggle with finding time to write are weak with no future. The writer being shamed may even be portrayed as suffering from some kind of moral failing.

Writers Aren't The Only People Who Get Time Shamed

Recently, I was listening to a talk on finding time for yoga. The speaker had "guru" attached to his name. Someone (a woman, the guru said when he wrapped up) forwarded a question to him at what may have been a public forum. She got up at 6 AM each morning, she explained, cooked, got her children ready for school, left for work around 8:30, was home by 6:30, dealt with the children and herself transitioning home, prayed, cooked, dealt with homework, and went to bed. How could she fit yoga into her life?


Over the course of five or six minutes, this guru told the poor soul that she had time to eat and gossip. I have no idea where the gossip thing came from, but I think he was implying she could give up either of those activities and, voila, yoga time. He also said that she acted like a martyr, taking care of everything but herself.  Unless you actually are killed for others, "martyr" almost always has negative connotations. If the woman  really was concerned about her children, she would want to provide them with a loving atmosphere (with yoga?) rather than material things (purchased with the wages of her work, which was keeping her from yoga?). She was told that she needed to look at the fundamentals of her life. Also, if her body and mind were more organized, she could get rid of unnecessary action and have more time. Though he had nothing to say about how to do that.

Finally, he told her to get up at 5:30 to fit yoga into her life. I can't imagine someone being able to get out of bed at any time after being told all that.

I'm sure you can see why this reminded me of the kind of time shaming I've heard addressed toward writers.

What To Consider If You Are Time Shamed

Speakers/writers addressing writing and time who say things like:

  • If writing was really important to you, you'd find time.
  • It's your dream...surely you can find time for your dream.
  • You say you don't have time, you're too tired, your job is too consuming, your children need you...excuses!
  • Well, you have time to eat and gossip.
are probably talking like that because they have no knowledge of the research/studies/writing on:
I could go on and on, but I don't have any more time. And don't get any ideas about making me feel ashamed about that.

My point is that there is so much time shamers could tell writers, and those who want to work yoga into their lives, that would have the potential to really help them. And yet they shame, instead.

That doesn't mean we have to accept it from them.

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