Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Going with the Flow

Outside it is still dark. This is my "Time Management" for the day. It was my turn to post yesterday, but I ran out of time, so early-up I get to fit blogging into today's schedule. I have loved reading everyone's posts and comments on this subject. I love talking about time management with my self-employed friends. I always find inspiration. Over the years I have tried all kinds of time management tools from Franklin-Covey calendars to wall-size calendars with each hour accounted for, mind-maps, pocket-sized calendars, computer calendars, and post-it notes. I have anticipated a week ahead of time and documented a week looking back. I have analyzed and workshopped time management in multiple ways and come to the conclusion that it is best to go with the flow. The evolution and flow of life determines my time, not the other way around. When I think of how much I got done in a day when my kids were little as compared to now, when I have whole days to myself in the studio because my son just got his license and can drive himself to circus classes after school and my daughter is at college, I accept that the flow of life makes it impossible to have one system of time management that always works.  

Better than a clock or a calendar, I have found that a few moments of writing in my journal about what truly matters to me each morning helps me plan my day, week, month, even year, around priorities. If I am working on a deadline, then I know early in the day what matters and it helps me to say "No" when necessary to keep my studio time sacred. When I was in college facing choices of whether to finish a paper or go out with friends I asked myself this question: "If I were to die tomorrow, what would be more meaningful?" (Can you guess which I chose?) I still often use this question to prioritize my plans and as I grow older it takes on new meaning. What do I want to accomplish in a day? A year? A life-time? It is no longer the light-hearted college question, but one that carries weight for me.


Edie Hemingway said...


Thanks for this very "human" and thought-provoking approach to time management!

john said...

Lauren, the thought you've given to this shines through and I like the balance you've struck. I was going to post on this topic, but I will wait awhile so your post will stay on top. Email, lunch, a swim, gathering books for an event tonight: no shortage of interesting things to do with this fluid presence called time.

Stephanie said...

I love all the thought you give to time, which alway does whatever it wants to in the end:)

David LaRochelle said...

Your philosophy of thinking about what matters most in the end is such a wise way to move through life, Lauren. Like you, I sometimes take time in my daily journaling to remind myself of what I want to do with my life. It gives weight to my goals to put them on paper.