|Balance isn't easy.|
I've known for years that I work too hard, and I've tried to remedy that by being more organized. Now, that's a good goal up to a point. People who know me already think I'm the organization queen. The painful truth is that it's not a matter of being organized. No matter how well organized you are, you can only cram so much into one twenty-four hour period. Nobody gets an extra hour in their day. We get twenty-four. No more. No less.
If I can't wangle more time, and I'm already organized, what can I do? How can I handle having so much on my plate? The remedy is simple. I need to get a smaller plate. I need to drop back and do less.
Before you roll your eyes, hear me out.
I'm a writer, and if I'm not writing, then what does that make me? So I will be doing more writing. Plus I need to think of my health. When I first started writing I took pride in the fact that I worked twice as much as anyone else. A couple of health crises later, I've decided working smarter is better. Hey, I said I was organized, not bright. *smile*
How to cut back? What can I give up without giving up too much?
First, I looked at what's important in my life. For me it's family, health, survival, and writing. They don't always come in that order. Sometimes survival is at the top. Other days it's family. Writing always hovers around the top as well. Those four things are the most important things in my life, so I want to make time for them.
That means other things get shuffled around to fit.
I'm not only a writer. I'm also a businesswoman. I own The Author'sSecret, which supports other authors. We're getting ready to update our website, launch two new services (book trailers and editing) and I have been hiring and researching and promoting like a madwoman. Since the business is part of the way I survive, it ranks high on my importance scale.
Writing is my main career, and it gets a huge focus as well. I joined a local critique group last year, and that handful of people meet with me twice a week. They've become vital parts of my writing life. That group gets a chunk of my time, and gives it back. The group is also high on that scale.
What's not high are things like watching TV, movies, and playing on the internet. I don't chat much, except when it comes to my critique group and author chats, or hangouts with readers and the like. So I have organized my TV watching. I know what I'll see on certain nights of the week. I like to check in with the Today Show in the morning and find out what's new in the world, at least for thirty minutes. I read extensively, because that's part of how I hone my writing skills. If I don't study my craft and competition, how good can I be?
I've added exercise, and am now walking on a regular basis. That will help my heart and keep my blood sugar where it needs to be.
Let me leave you with an image I think will help, beyond "thinking" about getting a "smaller plate."
Watch this video of one of the Wallenda family members, a tight-rope walker, high above the Grand Canyon. He's carrying a balance beam, which helps him gain equilibrium. I'd like you to notice one thing about that beam. It's in motion, changing angles, adapting to the shifting weight of the athlete carrying it. More to the point, the athlete is the one moving it, changing it. Constantly. There is no way to achieve balance without change.
I wish I could give you a three-step solution, or a checklist of things to do to obtain that balance we all strive to reach. But I can tell you the solution I found. I recognized that I didn't have balance in my life. My next step was to decide what I was going to change in order to get it. Balance is not something you achieve and forget. It's a constantly changing thing.
Share what you think will help you gain balance in the comments below. If this post helped you, feel free to share it on your social media.
Kayelle Allen is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers. She is a multi-published, award-winning author, and the owner of The Author's Secret, an author support company. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, futuristic immortals, covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog
The Author's Secret https://theauthorssecret.com