I Do Declare: The clock is a fierce opponent

I get up every morning, don my battle gear, and go to war … with the clock.

The battles I fight, the struggles I face, and the campaigns I map out are all about choosing the best time of day to get things done.

My high energy time is in the morning. That being the case, logic would dictate that I should be doing the most creative things at that time.

But some days logic takes a sharp right turn, and the to-do list elbows its way to the forefront. I tell myself I’ll just get these couple of things out of the way so I can focus the rest of the day on my passion projects.

You know how that ends.

The tasks take up a chunk of time – or worse, they deplete what energy I had, and I’m left running on empty when I do get to the passion projects.

The thing is, those times when I do start the day with one of my passion projects, I don’t want to stop. I get in the middle of it, become mesmerized and focused and just want to be there all day.

That’s no surprise: It’s my passion, it’s a creative endeavor, it feeds me and it gives me more energy. Who doesn’t want to dwell in that place?

And yet, there’s something in the back of my mind that worries that if I get too involved with a creative project right away, it’ll be hard to get to the tasks I have to get done (the routine, the gig assignments, the do-it-or-else tasks, you know what I’m talking about) – or worse, I’ll neglect them or be late completing them, then I’ll have to scramble to catch up.

It’s not just a what-comes-first issue. I battle with squeezing in creative work on the checklist, in between other must-do work. My experience has been that piecemealing creativity is not optimal.

And yet, what if piecemeal is the only way I’ll get everything done?

This war I wage over the clock is ongoing, and moments when I can “stand down” are rare.

Are there any creativity warriors out there who can share their battle stories? I’d like to hear about some campaigns that were won or weaponry that helped turn the tide.

2 thoughts on “I Do Declare: The clock is a fierce opponent

  1. Shelia, I just posted (right after you) in 10 Minute Novelists a blog entry that deals with time-crunch and the constant press of stuff, both expected and unexpected, in our lives. Serendipity, or the normal set of craziness under which writers operate???

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m the same way – tempted to get the little stuff checked off the list before I tackle the big things. But after discovering Chris Syme’s blog, I’ve gotten a little bit better at managing my time. In a nutshell, she advises you discover what is your most productive time, and reserve that time for the most important tasks. Leave the little stuff for when you are not quite at 100% mentally. Basically it’s just about being aware of this situation and mindful of your choices. I won’t pretend I succeed at this every day. But it’s very helpful to at least be aware of the problem.


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