As with most things in life, keeping up with the idea of stretching my imagination, of making time and space for my imagination, can sometimes be a challenge. There are concerts to attend and new puppies to train. Whether I am trying to find time to write or to seek out new ways to live creatively, the daily commitments out there in the real world find a way of interfering.  But that isn’t a bad thing. After all, most of us have chosen our busy lifestyle. As a writer, If everything is material, then I’d better pay attention and immerse myself in the moments, so that I am better able to actually use the material when the time comes!

Still, it can be frustrating to feel that for every step ahead, you’re slammed into reverse for the next two. Part of the journey I have embarked on, is to learn how to make the most of a busy schedule without beating myself up about what I am, or am not accomplishing.

It isn’t a matter of finding more hours in the day. It’s about making peace with the 24 you’ve been given.  It’s about not losing your focus as you make a thousand decisions on how each moment will be spent. I will never arrive. I know that now. But reminding myself of these four priorities has helped me make peace with my 24 hours a day.

  1. Hang on to your dream. The second you lose sight of what it is you really want, you’re sunk. Suddenly your calendar is full, sleep is in short supply and there is a growing dread building inside of you that none of this is actually what you want to be doing.
  2. Take time (no matter how little) to further your dream in some way each day. I have found that when I begin to get frustrated, it’s because I did nothing towards making my dream happen. There are lost minutes hiding in each day. A phone call that could wait until tomorrow. Laundry that could wait for an hour before it has to be done. Not checking in to social media or e-mail until you have written three pages. SOMETHING. It’s the not starting that’s the killer.
  3. Make space for the Muse.  How quickly the schedule controls us. Stop. Just stop. Write in your journal everything you are thinking and feeling and what you would do if you had more time and where you would like your project to go. Everything. A spark is fanned to a flame and suddenly you are scribbling like mad what you need to do. Suddenly there is a snippet of time in which you can squeeze in some time for this idea. It doesn’t happen unless you allow your mind space away from the weighty to-do’s. Steal the time if you have to. You can’t ignore this or you will shrivel up inside.
  4. Sleep. If you fuss and fret all night about all the things you have to do and all the things you haven’t done, it’s counter-productive. You need to get up and do something or relax and dream and congratulate yourself that you did your best. Tomorrow is another day. You might as well hit it with some energy from a good night’s rest.

And now, I had better follow my own advice by getting some writing done and going to bed!

Don’t forget to dream!

Published by Lois Donovan

Author of historical time travels, THE JOURNAL and WINDS OF L'ACADIE, Lois is in demand as a speaker/presenter at literary conferences and young writers' conferences and teachers conventions. Lois grew up primarily in Riverview, New Brunswick, but has called Calgary home for many years. Currently, Lois enjoys life in Calgary with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law.

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