Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Time Management Tuesday: Beginning Again Again

I haven't been writing about time management much here for a couple of reasons, one being that I'm not doing a good enough job managing time that I should be writing about it. But something happened Sunday that impacted how I spent my time Monday.

I got three rejections Sunday and found a fourth one in my e-mail that I'd either missed or forgotten about, because when the rejections fly fast and furious that can happen. Rejection doesn't bother me the way it does a lot of writers I see on X, who are really broken up about it. Rejection is a big part of a writer's job. If you're being rejected, you're working. Nonetheless, I wasn't ecstatic about the whole thing.

But I leaned on one of my favorite time management techniques, which is arguably not time management at all, probably an indication that I shouldn't be writing about the subject. I'm talking about beginning again. 

Which is what I did yesterday. I began again. I finished revising the portion of the short story I've been working on for months, so I'm now finally ready to continue with it. I started a new humor piece. I registered for a workshop. I checked out a publication to submit one of Sunday's rejections to. I had the best day I've had for a while. And I may have also finished a rough draft of a plan for a September car trip. That was taking forever.

Beginning again. One of my most useful tools for managing life, if not time.

Here is a repub of what may be my first begin again post. I've returned to begin again several times since then. 

November 24, 2020 Managing Chaos By Beginning Again

I was sure I'd written about "begin again" here in the Time Management Tuesday feature. It seemed like just the thing for managing chaos. But search as I would, I couldn't find anything here. So I guess I'm going to have to come up with some new original content.

Okay, if you spend any time reading about meditation, you will see the phrase "begin again." If your mind wanders while you're trying to meditate, no problem. Begin again. If you find that you're no longer in the present moment, that your mind has tiptoed off to your miserable past or your worries of the future, so what? You can begin again.

You're not a bad person because you didn't stay in meditation. You haven't failed. You're just going to begin again. Here is Joseph Goldstein explaining a very positive aspect of beginning again. In less than four minutes, people! How much do I love that? I love it a lot.

Overwhelmed By Chaos? Begin Again

Writers who've become overwhelmed by the chaos of living or at least their own kind of living and find that they are no longer on task with their work can use the same begin again thinking. Beginning to work again is important. But I think the really beneficial aspect of begin again is the lack of judgement. Judging and beating up yourself for work failures:

  • Is time consuming. Now you have to spend time ripping into yourself, time you could have spent writing.
  • Leads to the What-the-Hell Effect. When individuals become distressed about not maintaining goals, they can respond by giving up. We're lousy at what we do, anyway, so what-the-hell?  What's the point of going on with this?

Developing a begin again mindset won't keep us from finding ourselves neck deep in chaos. But it could help us get out of it.

No comments: