Friday, April 17, 2009

Thinking about discipline #1 -- trust the pieces

A few weeks ago, Lisa commented on one of my posts and asked about discipline....specifically, she asked about how I maintain my routine even when I have an incredible amount of work to do. She noted that sometimes when she has a lot of work, she feels compelled to stop doing almost everything else.

Well, first off, I don't have the discipline thing perfected... this is a tough one. But I'm happy to share with you the parts that I manage pretty well.

Today we'll start with the idea-- "trust the pieces". Here's my point. If I wake up and know I have seemingly-endless amounts of work to do, it would be easy to skip walking the dog, skip my work out, skip anything else that might "get in the way" and simply try to work all day. However, I have come to learn that I get off to a better start in the morning if I walk the dog first. And if I take a break sometime during the day and get to the gym, I'll probably work better later in the day. Now are there exceptions to this? Of course. I've had days where I've been on a roll or on a tight deadline and have skipped the gym (though I almost always walk Jake the wonder beagle!). However for the most part, I trust that all the pieces are important. If I take a walk and get to the gym, I'll work better and probably longer. So I view a walk or the gym as pieces of my process, not simply as distractions.

Finally, I want to say again, I don't have the discipline thing perfected. I don't always make the best choices. Sometimes I work too much or not enough, etc. However, I try to get it right more often than not, and more often than not, I do. When I don't get it right and have an off day, I don't dwell on that, I aim to correct my course the next day. It's a work in progress -- you can do it!

What are the important "other" pieces of your process? What are the other parts of life that aren't simply time away from the desk, but help you work better??

Honor those pieces. Give it a try. Let me know how you're doing.

More soon,

1 comment:

  1. Sorry I haven't commented about this posting since it was in response to my question. Your response is extremely helpful. I love the idea of thinking about my self-care activities as PART of my writing and research process. I have been feeling so guilty during these times away from my work that I don't think they are providing any relaxation or refreshment. Thinking about each detour as part of the overall process allows me to focus on each activity without feeling guilty and, thus, derive more benefit from each piece of the puzzle. Thanks, Harriet.


Creative Commons License
The Encouragement Lounge by Harriet L. Schwartz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.