Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who said all multi-tasking is bad?

Okay, if you've been listening to the news at all...or even to my dear friend The Happy Writer, you know that multi-tasking as not nearly as effective as we once believed.  Apparently when you aren't giving your full attention to something it takes longer to do. 
Imagine that. 
But the last few days I've been testing out a new theory.  This theory is that not all multi-tasking is bad.  For example, putting on your favorite dance music while cleaning can, in fact, make things better.  Alas, I'm not hear to talk about how to make your daily household chores more palatable.  Instead I'd like to talk to you about how you can improve your writing while exercising. 
I know, the two are pretty much mutually exclusive, unless you have one of those fancy writing treadmill desks (which, fyi, I want...I'm just sayin').  We all know that turning up the volume on faced paced music can not only get us moving faster, but it can also provide incentive to get our buts on that treadmill or elliptical machine.  
The other day, rather than turn on the tunes when I started my weight routine, I decided to turn on a workshop from RWA '11.  I ordered the CDs over the summer, and I've had them downloaded to my iPod for months.  But had I listened to a single one yet?  Of course not.  Who has the time?  
Except I did.  Sort of.  I'm doing my weight routine twice a week now.  It takes between 30-45 min. to complete.  That's 30-45 min. I could spend listening to a workshop (almost all of which are under an hour).  So I decided to give it a try. I've now worked through three different sessions, and I have to admit this may be my new thing.  First of all, I'm not getting tired of my music.  Second of all, because I don't have to "think" as much when I'm doing my weight routine, I can pay attention to the workshop.  And since I'm not walking or ellipticalling (is that even a word?), I don't have to worry about my pace.  
It's a win-win I figure. So here's my weekly challenge to you: find time to perfect your craft in a way that is non-writing related.  Listen to a workshop at the gym.  Go for a walk with a friend and brainstorm your heart out.  But do something different.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Take time, take 2

A couple of months ago I talked about taking care of yourself.  In the past, this concept has mostly fallen by the wayside in the fall when I start back at work.  I find that I'm often working longer hours during that time.  Add in time with friends and family (relaxing), and that leaves less time for actually taking care of myself.  In this case, I'm talking about things like getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising often enough.  Let's face it, it's easy to let these three things slide.  We want to see friends so we go out to dinner.  Mamma Mia is on t.v. so we stay up late on a work-night to watch it.  Since we went out to dinner with our friend, and because we're tired, we skip the gym.
They add up.
This year I challenged myself to not fall down that path.  I challenged myself to get my 8 hours of sleep a night, to not eat out as much, and to keep up with my exercise.  It's not always easy, and takes a lot of planning.  And let's face it, most night it's more like 7 or 7.5 hours.  I'm still seeing friends and family, just not as frequently.  Instead, I'm making myself a priority. 
The funny thing about it?  My friends totally get it.  I thought they'd feel left behind, or upset that they didn't see me enough.  Instead?  They are either looking for activities we can do together that let me get my workouts in (hike anyone?) or they're meeting me for a quick coffee instead of a full meal.  It takes a little less time, but let's me still get to meet up with my friends. 

So I challenge you: put yourself first.  Put your writing, your body, your needs first.  Believe it or not?  Those who love you will be more supportive than you think.  And you will reap the benefits.

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