I often a word card to focus my daily journaling, and many times that then leads to a blog post. The word recently was Efficiency. So apropos, particularly lately as I find myself sometimes scattered in my writing commitments.
Efficiency: to be efficient, to work tidily, concise, linear. Okay, there was probably a divine hand intervening as I chose a card this day!
Some rooms, if you will, are more colorful, whimsical and intricately imagined than the one before it. And, then many of the rooms are partially furnished, need paint on the walls and proper lighting. Some are dimly lit, or even completely dark.
Sometimes the right brain is like Hearst's Castle - winding staircases that lead to staircases on the way to secret passageways full of bubbling ideas and stories dying to be told.
So how to bring efficiency in that place that wants to stay wild and free from constriction?
Create a system. To be efficient is to complete the work within a system that flows. I've been successful by breaking projects into segments and managing my time accordingly within the time allotted to each segment. I set my timer for 28 minutes, and then when the buzzer rings I give myself permission to set another 28 minutes on that project or move on to another one for 28 minutes. I like 28 minutes for many reasons, one them being the number 28 in numerology equals both 1 and 10, symbolically meaning the beginning and the end, which gives me a perfect time capsule.
- Honor the gestation period but don't get lost there. The gestation period before birthing a project is my favorite part - the creation, nurturing the characters as they come to live, researching and building the world. Watching each phase develop like an expectant mother.
- Be consistent. Chip away at it every day.
- Organize and prioritize. Write down all your pending projects. Determine how much time you need for each task/project and get the small ones out of the way first. Then, check them off the list.
- Track your progress. It feels great to take a few moments at the end of each day or week and look at what you've accomplished. Just focus on that rather than what you haven't completed yet. There's plenty of time for that again tomorrow morning when you plan your work and then work your plan. Again.
- Ask for help where you're lacking. If you get bogged down in the research phase, or keeping the books on your business, or cleaning your house, and those are what keep you from completing your projects, then ask for help in those areas. The minimal investment is worth it.
And, have fun with the notion of efficiency! Experiment and try on new ways of completion. But, it's a gentle dance. Never let it get in the way of your joy of creation.
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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com