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Chris Redding

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Member Since: Apr, 2007

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Be the Chihuahua
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How to be Time Mercenary
By Chris Redding   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, April 16, 2007
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2007

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How to manage your time.

How to Be a Time Mercenary
Chris Redding

It isn’t a word we as women say very often.
“Could you bake a cake for teacher appreciation?”
“Could you drop off these flyers at the printer?”
“Could you volunteer for this committee that will insure you have no life for the next year?”
You get the point. Now all of you repeat after me, “No, I’m sorry I can’t do that.”
Stop there.
Say it again, with more feeling. “No, I’m sorry I can’t do that.”
No explanations. No whining. Just look them in the eye and do it.
Not sure if you want to decline it? Get back to them. Then ask yourself: Does it fit in with my goals in life?
My five year goal is to make enough money to pay someone else to clean my house. Being on the board of NJRW keeps with that goal because I gain intangible things. So does running the Special Event.
At this point I have to make a confession. Two short term goals of mine happened in a short period of time. I’m on the NJRW board and I’m running an event at my son’s school. From the outside it looks as if I didn’t decline enough items. Not true .
Nuts? Yes! But running the event at school shows my kids and others how important reading and writing are. That’s one of those big world goals. So the event stays on my calendar.
Just recently I’ve put in motion to lose two items I do for other organizations. Neither take a lot of my time, but they are always somewhere in my brain. Clogging it. Reducing my creativity.
So how do you start being a mercenary?
Don’t feel you have to do it all. No matter how much guilt is piled onto you. One thing I’ve learned being in various organizations, someone will step up. Especially if it really is time for you to step down. Never do a position for more than three years.
I already have someone lined up to take over the first activity I’m dropping. All I did was let it be known that I’m done.
I read a quote recently that most people go through life dabbling. Nothing wrong with that if that is your goal. But if you want to be truly successful at something you have to put all of your effort into it. Look at Olympic Champions. Depending on the sport, they may have given up their childhoods to get there. But they did because they did one thing.
Obviously you can’t ignore your children or stop being a wife, but setting boundaries is okay. What? Boundaries? Yes, I said that. There are times when children can fend for themselves. We have a “Bleeding or on fire” rule in our house. When I’m writing I’m not to be bothered unless one of them is bleeding or on fire. Most of my writing time is when they are at school so they don’t have to adhere to this rule all the time.
The dishes don’t have to be done right after breakfast and you’d be surprised what you can fit into the dishwasher. Kids can make their own beds, sort their own clothes. At a certain age, they can even wash them.
Will it be perfect? Probably not, but not everything in life will be.
Why am I suggesting all this?
Because my husband and I talked about how we don’t have fun very often. And I realized I don’t feel free to just browse in a bookstore if the mood takes me because I’m overcommitted. Not good for your creativity.
So remember the magic word. No. Say it when you are sure and even when you aren’t. If you change your mind, chances are you will be asked again.
Free your calendar and free your mind.
And finish that damn book.

Web Site: Chris Redding's website

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