starting afresh and managing time

Well.

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog front, hasn’t it? My blog, anyway…

I’ve had some busy patches and some patches where I’ve not felt I had the energy for blogging. We also spent two weeks on the Isle of Mull, which was lovely (if a bit on the cold and drizzly side – you know when you come home and people say, “Oh! But it was lovely here!”). There was one blazing sunny day at the beginning and a couple of sunny ‘slots’ in the second week.  But despite the gloom we had a good time, spotting wildlife (sea eagles, golden eagles, otters) and visiting somewhere we hadn’t been before.

Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull.  Yes, this was The Sunny Day.
Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull. Yes, this was The Sunny Day.

On my return I decided to change my routine a bit.  What with various changes over the past year or so, all my activities seemed to bleed into one another and had become a bit of an unmanageable jumble. So, I’ve done some ‘allocating’ – for example, Monday and Friday are when I do my editing work for Magnet.  Thursday is for writing.

In London, on a double decker bus
In London, taken on a double decker bus slowly moving forward!

Since last Thursday I had a Magnet meeting in London (yes, the day of the tube strike) today was my first writing morning.  (I have to think in terms of mornings – afternoons are when my energy stutters, so pottering is all I can manage.) Although my brain was a bit all over the place at first I decided to try and type up all the haphazard notes I’d made previously on my W.I.P.*

It’s not usually a job I enjoy – trying to decipher what I was meaning when I wrote them! But I managed to focus (gosh) and managed to use the morning for this purpose, as planned.  I felt no desire to do something else, which is rather unusual for me.  It didn’t occur to me to do the washing or look on Facebook. I just focused.

I’m not saying this ‘focus’ will be as good every time and that I’ll never be distracted. But I’m finding that, psychologically, allocating slots for specific things is really helping me concentrate. Often with Magnet work I’ve got drawn in by a simple email and end up working on it for an hour, without intending to. This way I check my email for anything urgent, make a note of what I need to look at and then leave it until my Magnet hours.

Very simple, I know. It’s not that no one has ever advised me to work this way.  I just needed to come to the conclusion myself. I’m a bit annoying like that (annoying to other people, I mean!).

But last night I felt excited because I knew today was my Writing Morning and I had not only given myself permission, I had established that was What I Was Doing.

Whether this will still be the case when I have to really ‘write’ as opposed to expand and reflect on my notes, I don’t know.

But I’m hopeful.

Afternoons, by the way, as well as allowing for pottering (today I cleaned the guinea pig hutch), are when I’ve allocated time for pondering in the presence of God.  For that is my place of rest and refreshment. Previously afternoons have been something I’ve endured, staggering through the fog of chronic fatigue. I’m hoping that by changing them into a place of sanctuary for a weary body and soul they can become not a burden but a blessing.

Yes. I’m hopeful.

*Work in progress

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8 thoughts on “starting afresh and managing time

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! It doesn’t work out, otherwise. It has to be a choice coming from inside, not outside (although of course I am influenced by external factors).

  1. yes I’m trying to fathom all that out. My post chemp energy levels are so erratic that I can’t say ‘I’ll have energy then – and of course SOME energy has to be for ADL’s [i.e housework and socialising] Tricky tricky tricky

    1. Yes, it’s a toughy. You have to learn yourself what works and put ‘back ups’ in place, so you can swap in/swap out. I’m still learning, despite having had ME for over 20 years now.

  2. I find time alloations so useful and I need them to keep me on track as it is all too easy to get distracted, especially in the online world. How is your routine going for you now? Have you settled in to it? It is really encouraging to read that you will now use afternoons to linger with our Father rather than endure them. Mich x

    1. I’m getting there. Some days there are hiccups, but I’ve found that the boundary lines are drawn better in my mind as well – so I don’t think about something (or worry over it) until I’ve reached the allocated time for it. I’m still working on my afternoons. They are better, but I know I could do with more of the ‘lingering’. But just allowing space, I find, makes my mind and heart more open in general to those ‘whispers of grace’…

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