Thursday, May 7, 2009
Day 13: Begin Where You Are; Begin Again
What I've learned--and yes, this is a learning, strengthening, stretching process for me, too--is that the average muddling human being--can't adapt to a new habit every day. Even the average muddling human being in training to become her own master.
Some of these practices have been easy for me. Timed writing, for instance, is second nature, as is maintaining a notebook, and writing something--however short or insignificant--is as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth.
Going to bed early, on the other hand, is swimming upstream for me. It goes against both deeply ingrained habits, and natural proclivities. But there are three reasons I haven't given up:
1. I've learned that I'm more productive in the morning whereas the late night hours tend to be given over to various forms of relaxing, ie, PLAY TIME (which is probably why I love them so much! )
2. Though I fail a lot at the goal, I succeed sometimes, too--and that's the aim. In other words, progress not perfection.
3. When you swim upstream, you get stronger. In fact, there's no other way to do it.
So wherever you are, begin. And if you've begun before and find yourself stalled, begin again.
Enter the current, and swim for your life. The water is exhilarating! To review:
1. Set a bedtime and stick to it. (Mine is 10 p.m.)
2. Dress for work.
3. "Nulla dies sine linea." Write something, even if it's only one line, every day.
4. Be at your desk and writing within 30 minutes of arising.
5. Control the internet beast! (The hardest challenge of all for me.)
6. Look over your work and prepare your workspace (both internal and external) the night before.
7. Set a timer and write with abandon for one hour (or more.)
8. Deliberately write for 15 minutes (or MORE!) when conditions are less than perfect. "Guerilla writing," as Danielle Younge Ullman called it.)
9. Maintain a notebook.
10. Set productivity goals
11. Expand your ability to focus
12. Keep "One Point."
I'll add a critical fourteenth discipline tomorrow.