Rebooting Time Management skills and Learning to Conquer Fear

Last month I attended a workshop that focused on the practical aspects of writing and time management. The struggle with managing my time since I have retired and left the full time work world continues to catch me by surprise. Distractions abound in my day to day life and by day’s end I find that although I have been busy, I have accomplished little.

How strange is that? Activities that I firmly believe I am committed to seem to vaporize during the course of the day. Sure, there are many things that I actually do and have finished but what I wanted to do most in my heart of hearts before I retired was to reignite my passion for creative writing.

Developing a consistent writing practice seems to allude me and is often hit or miss.

When I worked full time, I was able to juggle a prodigious number of tasks easily throughout most days. Often using project management techniques I was able to ensure my goals were met and expected deliverables were completed.

But, writing on a daily basis, has proven more difficult than I expected.

So the course on time management skills for writers, revealed a world of time management strategies that I was not even aware of. The course instructor used an astonishing number of acronyms and provided a fascinating list of time management gurus, videos, software programs and apps.

I then devoted time to watching suggested videos, previewing software packages, and ordering time management books from our local library system but had a strong sense that I was missing the boat here. Digging deeper I began to reflect on the fact that I was in the throes of procrastination.

Why was I procrastinating?

Sure, I have written some pieces of poetry and short fiction, and I started this blog. I have joined a writer’s group for support and accountability but it was starting to dawn on me that I must be missing the bigger picture.

This is about Fear. Yes, the simplest explanation for all of this is fear. Fear of putting myself out there, being judged, not being a good enough writer – my list of fears was long. Fear accompanies anyone beginning a new career, lifestyle, or journey. It seems important to learn to coexist with my fear, become okay with my status as a beginner who is learning to write and to begin to identify as a writer.

Have you ever been held back by fear? If so, what did you do to overcome it. I would love to hear your comments about fear and if it accompanies you on your journey.

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