What do you value?
6 years, 2 months ago Posted in: Blog 0
In prioritising our time and what we learn as writers we need to pay careful attention to what you value.... In a precursor to the time management course in February I discuss the basis for artists to make good decisions to apply their time and effort.

What do Karate, Orchestral Music and Writing have in common? At first blush not a great deal. Look a little deeper though and you will see in each of these activities three classes of people – the interested amateurs, the journeyman and the elite. What makes the difference between these groups is not “skill” as you would expect but time or rather how they use it. The interested amateurs treat whichever craft they take up as a hobby and as such they devote their time specifically on the pleasure of the activity rather than refining the skills. The second group the journeyman practice hard and can in fact devote long hours to their craft but we all know those who will never “break out”. The last are the elite, the “lucky ones” blessed with supernatural gifts bestowed upon them by the gods…

Or are they?

You might be surprised to find that on average the journeymen and elite spend the same amount of time practicing, in fact they often rub shoulders during training. Aha you say… That proves supernatural gifts if the train together. Well geneticists have tested that theory and turns out it’s about as real as the gods themselves. It turns out what really makes the difference is not what they do (in fact they generally do the same things) but what they see as being important.

You see the elite know what they need to achieve, prioritise the things that will get them to their goal are reflective (thus able to adjust what they work on) and ignore everything else. That’s right in the end it’s what the elite ignore that makes the so good. Think about that for a moment.

So what has this to do with what you value?

Well that is what my course will be on but as an exercise write down your goal (writing a book, a set of poems or maybe making a movie) then write down what are the most important things you need to achieve it and how much time you need to dedicate per week to achieve it. Keep that on one piece of paper. Then on a second piece of paper write down what you do during the week, specifically what you spend your time on. Put a circle around the unavoidables (eg sleep, eating, going to work). Add up how much time the circled items take up.

Now work out how many hours are in a week (don’t be lazy – don’t use a calculator) then take away the unavoidables. Now you have a decision (and i might add a very selfish one). Do you have enough time left to do what you need to do to achieve your goal?

Now we get down to the question of values – which do you choose, what you need to do to achieve your goal -OR- the avoidables. What is more important to you?

The answer to that question will be the main determinant in how successful your project is. Something to ponder on.

And for advanced thinkers, consider the unavoidables, just what among those will you sacrifice if there isn’t enough time?

I look forward to hearing the answers at the course.

This Weeks Podcast – Chocky

I am still working out the podcast for the week but I am hoping it will be the John Wyndham book/tv series “Chocky”. This series was a favourite of mine growing up because it goes past the idea that Aliens will descend upon us in spaceships to offer a different and thought provoking alternative. Wyndham was an exceptionally original SF writer and a personal hero, his books followed on from John Christophers to give me the sense that we could have a rational adult discussion on various issues through the medium of science fiction. Chocky, The Chrysalids, The Trouble with Lichen and the Day of the Triffids all explore issues relevant to us now yet were written nearly 50 years ago. It shows how valuable science fiction can be in viewing the world we live in as SF is not bound by the politics of today.

Daily Song

Don’t Give Up…

Daily Picture

Art by the Martian Graphic Artist Ella.

Character – The Shaggy Man by ~themartiansarehere on deviantART

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