Recently, I heard a sermon at church, and it really kicked me in the pants. This message, along with a number of other pieces falling into place at just the right time, got me thinking about how I use my time. Am I being intentional and productive, or lazy and apathetic? I think you see where I’m going with this. So I asked myself, “If I wasn’t lazy and apathetic, what would I do instead?”
The online courses began. I took dozens. There were classes about organization, time management, motivation, writing challenges, academic writing, grammar basics, marketing, the list will never stop. Thank you, internet. Anything that looked remotely interesting, I watched. I mean power-watched. I actually binged on online courses the way I used to binge-watch Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec. In about two weeks, I’d worked my way through so many classes I found myself, almost overwhelmed, with the desire to get
sh stuff done.
The pieces I want to share today are some of the most powerful nuggets of information I have taken away from these last few weeks.
- Your work day is not your entire day. Duh. I know it sounds so simplistic and obvious, but it took hearing it in such plain words for me to realize I was not living this way. In the morning, I’d wake up with just enough time to get ready for work, but no more. In the evenings I’d do the bare minimum to survive, like making dinner. Which looked more like “cooking” something so pathetically simple and convincing myself it was dinner. (I dare you to tell me you haven’t eaten popcorn for dinner before.) Then I’d sink myself into “relaxing.” I reasoned, “I need time to just zone out because I’m so tired by the end of the day.” In other words, I was using my non-work hours to recover from work and prepare for more work the next day. The insanity!! I wish I could remember which instructor gave me these famous words, but the class binge-watching mentality is great for a kick-start and not-so-much for accurately attributing great advice. I do remember the course was through SkillShare, which I highly recommend checking out. In fact, (shameless plug) if you sign up now you’ll get a free two-month membership, and I will also get a bonus.
- I realized I am a writer. As I started piecing bits of my classes together and taking intentional time to think about what I wanted out of life, I realized my passion for writing had been underlying for years, just waiting to break to the surface. One of the first projects in my first online course was to create a ‘Writing Timeline.’ This meant reflecting over your life and pinpointing moments and emotions linked to writing. My original intent for this post was to share my Writing Timeline with you, but I see now that will have to be something for later. This exercise really opened my eyes to the fact, I am a writer. With so many talented writers and bloggers, I started taking notes and reading as many as I could. I found others had similar emotions and struggles related to their writing. In fact, Jeff Goins, someone I’ve read a lot of and about in the last few weeks (no stalking intended), shared a similar piece of second-hand advice in his book, It’s Not Too Late. That piece of advice read, “You are a writer. You just need to write.” Dagger.
Add it all together and see the results in the blog before you. I decided to stop sinking all my time into work, preparing for work, and recovering from work and start pursuing what I really want to do. What I really want to do is write. I have a feeling it will take some time to catch up with myself and all the words that have been waiting to be spilled out for so many years. Until then, read quickly, I promise more thoughts are coming.