The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
American author and educator, Stephen Covey, was born on this day in 1932 (died 2012).
True story. I’m not sure I ever made it all the way through Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I’m pretty sure that I owned the book in the 1990s. It may still be on one of our shelves here. Or in that stack of books in the attic that hasn’t been touched in multiple years.
Now, now, there’s no need to be unkind. I’m still a work in progress.
Even at my age.
Still, I’m not discounting anything Covey had to say. The quote above, in fact, makes a lot of sense.
It’s not just about juggling what’s on your to do list. It’s about making sure those things on that list are worth your time.
Granted, you can’t always control that. I mean, if you work for, or report to someone else, sometimes they’re gonna give you stuff that you know is a waste of time, but you have to do it anyway.
But, for those things that are in your control.
For example, while I’m not getting paid to write this blog, I do it because it gets my voice out there. I will not, however, pursue an ad that offers a writing opportunity to “gain exposure.”
On my way to being a full-time writer I’m looking for writing opportunities that pay. And that pay well.
That means that I prioritize some of the ads that I find. Many make it to the bottom of the list. Or to the round file.
On a side note, I get really frustrated with those ads that say “we’ll write your blog posts for free.”
This is why I can’t have nice things.
It’s all about figuring out what is important and putting those at the top of your priority list.
Writing for “exposure” isn’t all that important to me. I’ve got a couple of standing offers from some respectable sites to do that, While they might be worth it to reach a certain audience, I’ve not made them a priority yet.
But, spare me the Craigslist ad that, more often than not, has typos and says “We’re a new publication so we can’t pay yet, but you can do it for the exposure.”
Chances are with a “new” publication, there’s not going to be all that much exposure.
I’m not saying that all of those opportunities are bad. If you’re new at this, or if writing is just a hobby, then maybe.
Here’s why I write.
I write to have my voice heard. That’s here, and sometimes on some other sites (granted, not in recent years).
I write to create. I’m creating a script. I’m creating short stories. And, eventually I’ll get back to creating my novel(s).
I write to get paid. At least I try to.
Writing is something that I have to do. It’s a priority, if you will. So, I don’t take this casually.
That means, no matter how much is dumped on my to do list by myself or others, I need to find time to write.
I do that in part by getting up at the crack of the dawn of civilization. Most mornings before I leave to take the boy to the bus stop and head to the gym, I’ve already written my thousand words for the day. If I don’t, it’s much more difficult to get that done over the course of the day.
I write blog posts at lunch and in the evening. And I write (or edit) the script in the “free time” in those evenings.
Like I said. It’s a priority.
I have other priorities, other things that I want to do. But, I call myself a writer. So I need to schedule that writing time.
What’s on your priority list? Are you getting it done are are you letting the other crap of life get in the way?
We all get the same block of time. We can’t create more. We can’t get it back if we waste it.
So, figure out what your priority is. Then schedule time to get it done.
And maybe find time to read that Stephen Covey book.
American actor and singer, Kevin Kline, was born on this day in 1947.