My mind looks like a cluttered desk, with stacks of papers and pens strewn about, covering everything from the computer to my to-do lists spanning several unfinished months. It’s full of distractions, doodads, books, ideas jotted quickly on napkins and post-it notes, lists of shows and movies I want to watch, pictures of my fiancé and sisters, and goals and dreams that my best friend and I both wish to accomplish.
And just like my mind, my schedule is messy too. A lot of crazy things have been happening in my life the last several months. But even before then, I lost my creative focus and will to make my writing dreams a top-of-the-list item.
When people ask me how I am lately, I’m never entirely sure how to respond. I am doing well, really, but I’m always on a mental and emotional overload. Not in an anxiety sense (at least not too frequently), but in just the amount of different things I’m thinking and feeling.
A couple months ago, I found out that by next March the business I work for will be entirely shut down. A week after that, many changes took place in the staffing of our particular store, which resulted in four of us getting promotions (including my fourth this year). It’s crazy to think I went from being told I wouldn’t have a job by the end of January because of my seasonal position coming to an end to being promoted to an on-call position. Then I was promoted to a part-time scheduled position, then a team lead position, and most recently the senior team lead position. All of this insanity has led to me working anywhere from 18 to 40 hours a week at a retail job I was only working four to eight hours a week just a few short months ago.
Right before all this started, I tried to make a new schedule for myself so that I could focus on writing again. But then I got the news, and I was too overwhelmed to think or sleep half the time, or I was too exhausted to stay awake the rest. So here I am, finally wrapping my mind around everything that’s been happening at work and realising just how much I miss creativity in my life.
I have been feeling inspired, whether it’s by the flowers my fiancé brings me, reading my best friend’s novel, the photos I see posted by many brilliant photographer friends, or stepping outside and seeing gold and red leaves falling off the limbs of nearby trees. But I’ve done nothing with that inspiration. And I’ve certainly not made my creativity a priority.
So a few weeks ago, it hit me while in a meeting with a couple managers, just how bad I’ve gotten at time management, both in my personal/creative life and my work life. We started coming up with some action plans for prioritising and scheduling my time. I felt so encouraged and motivated by the meeting that when I got home I started researching time management apps and tools so that I can better take care of everything that I need and want to do.
Creativity is definitely being added back on as a priority. Most specifically writing. Whether that comes as nonfiction, novel, short story, or poems writing will be found out later. But for now, it is back on the list.
My goal for myself currently is to make sure that each day I am setting aside just a few minutes to write. I know that there will be days where that’s difficult, but even on those days, I will do my best to write, even if it’s just a few sentences. I have no idea where my writing will lead during this time, but the entire purpose of it all is to just get me writing again. Hopefully soon, I’ll make it part of a more specific routine because making sure I have a set time that I spend writing everyday will be a huge help and motivation.
One of the things this will lead to is more regular blog posts. So keep an eye out.
Until then, here is my promise to myself:
I will persue my dream of writing, and it will not be a waste of time, but rather an investment in one of my top priorities—taking care of and becoming my best self.
What are some tools you use for time management and prioritising?
What are some priorities you need to regain focus on?
When do you feel most creative and/or motivated?