Reasons to stick to the plan

November 13, 2011

It’s been a bit of an overwhelming week again and I’ve felt at breaking point a few times.  Headaches, chest and back pains, and a general feeling of fatigue were the symptoms of the week.  Luckily I know when I need to step back and assess but I’m thinking that it would be a good idea to prevent these feelings (be a bit more proactive) instead of reacting to them.  Life has a way of giving you signs; I only tend to relax when I have a tension headache – funny that!

The way forward

I need to assess my work-life balance (again!).  I currently do full-time working hours (as a project manager) Monday to Thursday which means very long days – with the travelling as well and I’m out of the house for 12 hours a day.  My writing, my family and the household tasks need to fit in around this.  Fridays is usually a catch up day for writing and other things, and it also allows me to do the school run.  Although I really look forward to Fridays, it sometimes starts off with a headache.

If I was to go back to doing Monday to Friday – my old pattern - I wouldn’t get to take and collect my daughters from school (which I love doing).  If I stay as I am, I need to be smarter with my time.  Over the next week, I am going to write down what I actually do and compare it to my writing plan that I created a month ago (first task on my online writing course) and see if I actually follow it.  Therein will lie the answers I think! 

My Writing Plan

I put a lot of time and effort into my writing plan six weeks ago and it was supposed to represent my ideal work-life balance, but I’m not strictly following it (although I’ve been fooling myself that I am).  Although one of my strengths is self-discipline, my weakness is that I quite often spread myself very thinly – stretching what I do over more and more hours (which usually eats into my sleeping time and meditation time).

What sticking to the plan will bring

The revelation for me was on Friday during a conversation with Noel Walker (author of Get the Life you Want and founder of OpenLeaf), when we discussed that I could just simply choose to ‘stick to the plan’.  When ‘writing’ time is up and it’s ‘family time I could do just that – THE REST CAN AND WILL WAIT.  So, when my writing time is up, I will turn off the computer and just ‘be’ with the family and  I will switch off from work!

Noel also said that the time out will cause other things to happen  – it will give me time to focus on different things.  After all, it was when I was peeling potatoes that my successful writing blog (mywritingnotebook) was born.  Also this particular blog post was written over the weekend whilst the potatoes were simmering.  How many of us choose not to take that time out and don’t allow ourselves the time to reflect or just ‘be’?  This has made me even more determined to stick to my plan. 

How this is working for me so far this weekend… 

See part 2 which will be posted later today.

Before my next instalment you can follow my updates on Twitter @OpenLeafJourney and on my new OpenLeaf Journey Facebook page click here to view. Don’t forget to sign up below if you want to receive further posts by email! If you want to drop me an email then please do so, my email address is or feel free to comment below.
Until then thank you for popping by and I hope you are having a great day too!

Freelance writer

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