Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not Enough Hours in the Day- Part 3

Earlier this week I began the topic, Not Enough Hours In The Day.  While learning the business side of being an artist, I then ran across a timely post on an art marketing site this week. It directly relates to our discussion about doing too much. In an art business coach's, words, "The problem with saying Yes to everything (which essentially means being a people pleaser) is that you end up saying No to yourself and everything you want for your life."* True to form, art biz coach, Alyson Stanfield, fills in the gaps left by others. Not being able to improve on her words, I encourage you to read Stanfield's full post. Although geared to artists, her suggestions can be easily modified by anyone with the "Yes, I'll do that- disease." To view Stanfield's post, click: Say No With Grace.  I'm keeping it short today- more on this topic in the coming weeks.

* Stanfield, Alyson, Say No With Grace,, June 23, 2008.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Enough Hours In The Day- Part 2

This is part two from yesterday's post.  We were talking about recognizing where we are before we can consider an effective change when we are trying to do too much.

OK, I am going to use a simple, silly, personal example to illustrate this.  Most, if not all, of you are not aware that I am an imperfect speller.  If I did not recognize this and/or did not want to make a shift, my writings would be full of misspelled words.  I would not use spell-check and I would not use a dictionary when writing for you.  Furthermore, I would not even pay attention to the words I misspell repeatedly, to try and remember the spelling next time.  Does this make sense?  I accept that my spelling ability is weak and I choose to make a shift.  In my example, the shift is then made by using additional tools as well as my mental memory to learn from my mistakes.

Getting back to shifting to, enough hours.  Let me give you one cool tool I employed many years ago: (repeat after me), "I'll think about it."  It is that simple.  This is the problem I had in doing too much: If someone asked me if I would do something, I barely considered it and said, "yes," as it seemed like a small request and I wanted to be helpful.  At the time, I was a single parent who was working and going to school.  I had also decided I was 'supposed to' volunteer in the children's schools.  Oh, I also had my art studio which I was working in part time.  It was insanity, at best.  To use this tool properly, I had to employ it in all situations: "Julie can you work an extra shift this weekend?" or "Mom, can we stop at the video store, tonight" or "Julie, can you bake some cupcakes for next week's party?"  "Julie can you watch my dog this week?"  Even if I thought I already knew the answer, I would say, "I'll think about it," and give the asker a time that I would get back to them with my answer.  Then I would be able to take a moment to realistically see if this was something I ought to do.  This kept me from either always saying, "yes" or swinging the other way and always saying, "no."  Sometimes "yes' is appropriate and sometimes "no' is appropriate.  If we let the mind give the knee-jerk answer, the response will almost always be the wrong one.  That's another way the mind messes with us, by the way.

Part 3 of this topic shows one way to say "no" with style: Not Enough Hours, Part 3

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not Enough Hours In The Day- Part 1

When discussing routines, clearing out the mind clutter was one idea presented.  One way was to make a list of tasks.  Another was to write and practice a formal, but flexible routine.  For previous posts click: Routines.  If we write down all that has to be fit in our routine, at some point we may suspect or even determine that "there might not be enough hours in the day." 

Well, guess what.  There aren't.  Not for what my mind has me thinking that I have to do.  What do I mean by this?   Recall that I spoke about how our minds can "run us" rather than we running our minds?  This is just one of the ways a mind can run a person.  By ensuring that every minute of every hour is filled with stuff that "must" be done, it keeps the person running.  Layered on top of this for some is the 'failure factor.'  Because we don't get it all done, some of us can feel like failures, as if we should be able to do a better job.  Why does this even matter?  Because it is another way the mind keeps me from my higher purpose.  For an artist it is one sure way to allow a stifling of creativity.

Perfect Mind Play:  Create a situation that is impossible, then when unsuccessful in completing the super-human task, wallow in a failure stew.  Get up the next day, and do it again.  Are we having fun yet?  Do we just keep doing this day after day and year after year?  News Flash:  It does not have to be this way.

If it had to be this way, it would be a universal truth for all humans.  And I am sure, it is not.  Having experienced both sides of this, I prefer the enough-hours-in-a-day approach.  So, how does one shift from the not enough to the enough?  The first step is, yes, you guessed, recognizing where you are and wanting to make a shift.  This is extremely important.  If  I can not see where I truly am, I just continue to delude myself into thinking I am somewhere else. 

This introduction to 'Not Enough Hours in the Day' has been changed from its original format and divided into parts 1 and 2.
For part 2 click: Not Enough Hours, Part 2

What has worked for you when there was too much to do for the allotted time-frame?
Please post any comments or questions by clicking 'comments' below.

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