Monday, April 11, 2011

Not panicking is my favorite time management trick

This morning I woke up to a phone call from my sister who told me one of my favorite uncles died. A little later, I learned that the Harlequin Romance line is getting a new senior editor. On the news, a few minutes ago, the weatherman told us a cold front is about to slam into our warm front (which we were coming to love) and the result could be thunderstorms with possible 80 mph winds.

Through it all, I paid the month's bills, polished fifty pages and taught an online class.

That probably doesn't sound like much of a time management trick, except...flip it. What if I'd gotten all that not-so-good news and panicked?

What if I'd let it all get to me and hadn't gotten anything done...I'd be 50 pages behind tomorrow and that would just ... well, suck.

My friend, Karen Rose Smith (who writes for Special Edition) has a saying...Control the things you can control.

Sometimes when life really isn't treating you kindly, the best thing to do really is sit down and get your work done. Not panic. Not stress out. But control the thing you can control...your work.

Keep pace. Don't fall behind. And procrastination won't whisper in your ear that you're so far behind you might as well not even try.

Ah...Now, I'm pushing a few buttons, aren't I?

Absolutely. How many of us are familiar with that voice that tells us we might as well grab a bag of Doritos and watch TV because we're so far behind we'll never catch up? Probably most of us.

Why? Because most of us can keep going until we fall behind. Then that time thief procrastination just kills us...because we dispair of ever catching up, we fall even further behind.

So, don't panic. Control the things you can control. When something bad happens, and you're tempted to step away from your desk for a few hours of pacing and wringing your hands...don't.

Control the things you can control. Do your daily page count. Wash the dishes. Make dinner.

You'll be glad you did.

Happy Monday.


PS I even accidentally put my underpants on inside out, which according to the old ladies who played bingo back when I was one of the ticket sellers (about 40 years ago!), is a good luck thing. Put your panties on inside out (accidentally, not deliberately) and keep them on inside out and you will have good luck all day.

Didn't work.

Gamblers are crazy people.

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