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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Journal With Impact: Vocation Prioritize

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“A life should be as carefully planned as a work of art so that it takes on characteristic shape of your mind (the true meaning of ‘lifestyle’).” Kenneth Atchity 

Choose One Priority and Ask

1. What are the specific steps I need to take to make this happen?

We often are juggling several priorities that may, or may not, overlap or compete for our time and energy. Vocationally and personally.

So one first step is to consider the cost involved emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and relationally. It’s one thing for a writer to ask family and friends to ignore you for a month for the annual NaNoWriMo, or even for a season to crank out a draft in three months. But what could happen to your relationships in the long term if they are not willing to support you? Just how much are you willing to give up or adjust in order to find a balance.

Once we gather as much insight as possible we are able to prioritize within healthy boundaries.           

2. Which of these steps can I do without any additional knowledge? Which ones need research or a class or a co-worker to assist?

Set Goals

3. Examine a time frame. What is the goal for the next year? Then break it down into monthly-weekly-daily goals.

4. Set realistic goals. Goals need to be measurable and attainable within a defined timeframe.

5. Now re-examine. Have you built in some gap time? Are there seasons of the year that you have more time/less time? How could this impact your schedule?

6. What involves other people? How can you synchronize your schedules to be mutually supportive rather than friction based?

For example, several years ago an associate pastor and I were in charge of an ongoing weekly yearlong project. Frankly, within a few weeks we realized that we were driving each other crazy, both time wise and in content productivity. Which surprised us because we both felt a strong commitment to the project and up until then had worked well together.

However, we were trying to do everything by phone or in bite-size conversations, and our miscommunication was creating difficulties for other people as well as ourselves. We recognized that we needed to set aside a scheduled meeting time to organize our planning and then discovered the root of the problem. When we sat down with our calendars, we realized that, except for the weekly event, we did not have one timeslot that matched. Our chaos was growing because there literally was no time to prepare together. Once we talked through the situation, we were able to define a new strategy—a change for both of us—and a learning curve that developed new skill sets for each of us.

6. Examine where you may need to set boundaries. Worried about a conversation you need to have with a co-worker? Try writing it all down in a letter first to vet all your feelings. Then when calm and clear about the issues, invite them into a discussion.

Action Steps:

1. Choose a required challenging project that either you have committed to or been assigned to. Do a general overall time frame.

2. Choose a personal project close to your heart that you have had to delay several times and does not have a specified deadline. Do a general overall time frame for it as well.

3. Using the above questions answer them for both these projects side-by-side.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses for each? How can you gain from each?

Share: What boundaries did you discover that you did not expect?

Read deep, marcy

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