Do As I Say, Not As I Do (?) (Day 9)

(photo credit: Word. Photo taken by Satish Krishnamurthy.

It’s easy to put the words down on paper but to walk the talk, that’s a whole other thing.

If I’m going to make the most out of my life for as long as I’m able (as I’ve claimed as part of the mission of this journal), I probably should get up off my duff and do some stuff.

Yikes! What does that mean?

For so long, I’ve done what needs to be done (bills, meals, doctors appointments, laundry) and I’ve done what I do to procrastinate from doing what needs to be done (web-surfing, online word games, Netflix, chasing the dog around the house).

But am I doing the things that I want to do? Only sometimes.

I work on my novel. Sometimes. I meet friends for a drink. Sometimes. I go to my favorite morning yoga class. Sometimes. I come up with ideas for freelance essays and articles. Sometimes. I look for freelance business writing gigs. Sometimes.

Then there are the bigger ambitions: family vacations, cultural events, writing conferences, world travel, supplementary education.

I rarely make the time for those things even though they are what I want most, the things that are most meaningful to me.

Many time management theorists say that on a day-to-day basis we should do what is “important” first, then do what is “urgent.” Important refers to the things that are important to you (in my case, writing, yoga, family/friends, travel, cultural events, education) while urgent refers to all of the things (household and family management) many of us have spent much of the last twenty years doing first.

I realize I can’t ignore the management of my household, but do I have to call the insurance company first thing in the morning? Why not do it when I’m creatively worn out, mid-afternoon? Whenever I do work for somebody other than myself, I work to a schedule, but when I’m writing on spec (which is what one does when they’re writing a novel or essays or query letters to publications and publishers), I tend to save the work for when I have time. Which I rarely have.

I remember when my husband and I were questioning when it would be best to have children. We were concerned about the biggies: time and money.  At some point, someone wise said to us what we already knew but weren’t prepared to accept: it is never the right time. You have to do the things that matter now or you will keep putting them off, indefinitely.

I think I need to hear that again.

It is never the right time. You have to do the things that matter now or you will keep putting them off, indefinitely.

So what will you do?


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10 thoughts on “Do As I Say, Not As I Do (?) (Day 9)

  1. LOVE the do what is important before what is urgent. I ALWAYS do the opposite and I am getting nowhere. Will try to apply (starting tomorrow :)) and will let you all know how it goes…

  2. Sara—totally agree. I think we all tend to do what is “urgent” first. If everyone did the opposite, we’d actually get a lot more done in life—especially the important stuff.

  3. Constant struggle, now that I’m working out of the house. Unfortunately, I tend to do what’s fun first, then scramble to catch up with the household needs when I hear the cr pull into the garage at the end of the day ….

So what do you think?