Scheduling and previous commitments continue to be a bane of my existence. And I’m not getting better at adjusting my time or not being bummed that I can’t do it all and take advantage of every opportunity.
1) Overbooked: I was hired for two days of mock trials, something I’ve been interested in doing for several years. Not only is my nephew’s birthday party one of the days, an agent called with an audition for an even better paying gig that would shoot on the other. So I had to say no to the agent and my nephew. Friends/classmates are in a show I want to see but it’s at 11PM the night before the mock trial, which starts at 8:30AM. Of course there were days that week with nothing specific on the calendar.
2) Over-YESsed: I can’t seem to say no when asked to judge writing contests, because I’ve appreciated and benefitted from feedback I’ve received over the years…but each entry takes a lot of time and mental energy. Some days, work for the board of directors I’m on requires immediate and significant attention. My sister asked me to help her with something. My writing group invited me to do a workshop. All things I want to do and enjoy doing.
But adding these activities to auditioning, rehearsals/learning lines, acting jobs, improv class, self-marketing and critiquing friends’ books means many workdays go way beyond 9-5. Which means less time to read the books on my overflowing ‘to be read’ shelf and less time for a social life: two of the reasons I quit my day job in the first place.
Worse, I wonder if I’m using all of these commitments to avoid dealing with more serious issues/projects. Like working diligently on a new book.
Lately I’ve been falling into the trap of believing I have no time. I say, “Oh, I have this, this, this and this I have to do today. And, hmm, I really need groceries. And look, I have a Dr. appointment. And I’d better buy this birthday gift.” Thus whittling away the day with things I do need to do, because I said I would. I need to get back to choosing how I use my time, vs. letting busy-busyness choose.
But what is the best use of my time? How do you decide the best use of yours?
Kelli Estes says
It’s so hard to know, isn’t it? Just when I feel I’ve found balance in my life, something changes and I’m left struggling to balance it all again. I guess what I try to do is keep my priorities uppermost in my mind (kids first, writing second, everything else last), but even then I don’t always remember to schedule in downtime to spend on things that nurture my soul (like reading) or that nurture my relationships (like going out with friends).
I feel your pain, Ruth!