The Gift of Time

I have an hour to do a writing assignment. I’ve got the title and subject. Wait, what if I add a GIF? Half an hour later, I’ve found a hilarious GIF–now, how to insert it? I go seeking instructions, but many of them are out-of-date. I watch videos on YouTube. I give up on the GIF. Suddenly, I’ve spent two hours on the assignment–and all I have is a title and a subject …

What gives? I’ve been to time management classes and read many articles about how to work smarter not harder. Why do I always end up in the same place? Stressed out, excited, endorphins having a wild party in my brain?

I think I just answered my own question. I am a person who loves excitement. I crave deadlines and am driven by them. Yet too often, I lose sight of the goal, particularly when I start being creative, or fixate on trying to do a new thing.

But surely, creativity and eagerness to try new things are good qualities? I don’t want to give those up! (And don’t call me Shirley.)

Wait a minute–wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute. Maybe, by seeking excitement and procrastinating, I’m sacrificing the time I need to be creative and try new things! I’m shooting myself in the foot! Why do I do that?

Fear of failure.

It’s much, much scarier to fail after I’ve given myself abundant time to be creative, because then I have to own the failure.

Whereas, if I work to a deadline, whether I make it or not I can think “Well, I was so stressed out and under pressure! I did the best I could.”

Or did I? Maybe the best would have been allowing myself the time to be creative. Who knows what I would have made if I’d given myself the gift of time?

What, if anything, stops you from doing the best you can? If time management is your strength, how do you do it?

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