Habit 5 of Excellent Writer

Habit 5: Don’t Overload Your Schedule

We each know when we are overloaded because we feel pushed in way too many directions without a seeming purpose for any of them. This is counterproductive to being excellent and something that has to be remedied if we are to embark on the path to excellence as a writer. To avoid overloading, you must settle down and reflect on things, and put things in perspective. The greatest gift in life is finding harmony in yourself so that you could ensure that you don’t overload yourself. You can prevent overload in your writing career by planning for meetings, major commitments, and other scheduled activities so that they are not back-to-back. Space them so that you do some writing in between them. If you feel an overload coming on, take a few moments to relax. Don’t get upset and overwhelmed. This can put you in a healthier frame of mind. You may want to just go to the bedroom and close the door. Lie down and just relax for five to ten minutes. You may feel overwhelmed by too many demands. Decide how much you can handle and adjust your pace before getting into trouble. This often means saying no to people, situations and requests. You should also direct the course of your life, rather than direct the course of other people lives. That way you will be sure to control what you can control and avoid the rest. At times, we have too many requests and demands on our time. We should learn to take control by taking these concrete steps. • Decide how much you can handle and how much you take on. • Set priorities and follow them. A continuous diet of overload and stress can destroy the quality of your writing life, health, performance, and relationships. • Have a plan to prevent overload. • Embrace simple joys. • Schedule time for quality rest and enjoyment in living. • Maintain a sense of harmony in your life. • Adjust your pace if you feel disharmony. • Be realistic in making additional commitments. • Overestimate how much time you need. • Leave early enough for appointments. • Say yes only to things that you want to do. • Choose to do more things that lift you and less which drain you. • If you are unsure whether you want to take something on, don’t do it. • You have to relax outside of working hours. So, your long rang challenge should always be to prevent overload, to embrace the different loves of your life more fully, and live your life more joyfully. In this way, you will be embracing the path towards less overload, more health and well-being, and doing more quality work. And you will be doing your best writing too. That’s it for this week! Irene S. Roth