Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The art of saying "no"

Tip of the Day: hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend.

It was lovely to have an extra day this weekend to get some stuff done at home. I had high expectations to work on writing projects this past weekend, and I did get some stuff done. But not enough.

Now I'm trying to carve out more time after work to get writing done, and I'm finding it harder and harder to find the time. Or really the motivation.

Mostly because I'm so tired all the time.

Wah waah. I know. You always find the time to do the things you want to.

But some days it's about all I can manage to take my dog across the street to the park to play catch. Like this evening. Luckily he only lasted about five minutes, which was about all my energy could handle.

So how do you find the energy to write when you are exhausted? And I know all of you are just as tired as me...

Well...let's look at some options.

  • Give something up. That always looks like a splendid idea. But then reality hits and if you are anything like me, then "no" isn't really part of your vocabulary.
  • Throw on the running shoes and force yourself out for a walk or run. Energy has to come from somewhere, and unfortunately exercise is the best way to get it.
  • Get your butt in chair. The preferred method of writers everywhere. Just force yourself to do it...and then usually the energy just appears miraculously.
All of these are potential options. But out of all of them the thing I think works the best for me if I'm really exhausted is just merely give something up. For me that's taking on less responsibility at work. As a self-professed perfectionist, I take on way, way more than I need to at work. I'm not exactly a brain surgeon here: life will go on just fine with two less programs or computer classes this month. It might even work out better!

Which is why my goal in the next few weeks/months is to lighten my load by saying "no" more or merely not coming up with ideas at all. Then hopefully the balance will regain itself and the motivation to work on writing will happen.

--Emily, Miss Here's Hoping for Balance


Andrea Mack said...

For me, it's pretty much impossible to work when I'm too tired. What works for me is to do my writing early in the morning. Of course, this perpetuates the cycle of exhaustion!

Kate Fall said...

Writing 15 minutes at a time seems to work well for me. I can at least do 15 minutes, right? But now that school's started again, I will have to learn to say no to some of the kids' many requests for commitments. And getting to bed earlier will be more important, too.

Emily Marshall said...

Andrea--so impressed you can get up early! That's dedication. I'm so not a morning person. It takes me several hours for my brain to kick in during the day.

And Kate 15 minutes is certainly doable. Maybe I should try that. And yes, I think the going to bed thing is what I need to do. If I can only figure out how to make my body agree with my mind...and go to sleep.