In order to attempt to make a living as a writer, you have to be good at juggling. You have to work on more than one project at a time. I remember reading (it may have been today as I’ve been working) that multi-tasking precludes mindfulness. And yet, the work I am doing requires mindfulness: to be fully focused on the present moment. You cannot write while focusing on something else.
This week, I’ve devoted hours to freelance projects that help pay the bills. I’ve worked on trying to market “Deeper into the Word: New Testament” and let people know about cool promotions connected with it, including a very exciting project with the folks at Midday Connection on Moody Radio (stay tuned for updates on that in the next few days.) I’ve read through the final page galleys for one book (“Mornings with Jesus”) to which I’m a contributor along with Sharon Hinck and Camy Tang, among others. I’m currently also reading edits on “Deeper into the Word: Old Testament” which will release this fall. Whew!
Combine the writing life with the mom life and it gets a bit crazy. It’s much easier now that my daughter is driving–she just took her younger brother to his driver’s ed class, then she’s running to the library for me to return overdue books. this enables me to stay at the computer, writing, instead of driving.
While that’s helpful, I still often feel pulled in different directions. How do I live mindfully, yet still get everything done? I’m grateful for the insights of Jack Groppel, whose brilliant ideas on “time-chunking” (essentially doing one thing at a time and devoting all your focus to that one thing) and managing energy rather than time really work for me. I have a long list of things to do, but I try to do one thing at a time. Sure, I get occasional interruptions from the kids. But I’m learning to see the interruptions as part of my job–if I were working in a corporate setting, interruptions from co-workers or the people I manage would be part of my job.
Can I devote full attention to whatever task is before me? That’s the goal: to do one thing at a time. Another key to working efficiently is to learn how to rest. To engage fully, but then take time to disengage: to have dinner with my family in the evening, get enough sleep, get some exercise. And once a week, to take a full day off from my ever-present work. (This past Sunday, after church, our family went boating with our friends the Stephani’s, which was great fun and very relaxing.)
How can you live mindfully (being fully present) and still get everything done? Let’s talk about it: leave a comment or question.