Managing time is about so much more than having the time to do everything that you want and need to do. It is also about having the time to do it right, doing it smart, and having the time to do nothing at all. Diana Jervis Read’s talk on time management was truly a gift that I didn’t even know that I needed until I was given it, and now I shall never live without it. She is one of the best in her field for a reason.
I think I can say on behalf of the whole cohort that Diana’s talk was a need and that we all walked away that day with something new to implement in our lives. Her talk was full of so much life-changing and essential information, for example, not spending time but rather investing time in a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-defined) way, highlighting the problems with multitasking, and Covey’s quadrant:
|1) Urgent & Important||2) Important BUT Not Urgent|
|3) Not important BUT Urgent||4) Not Important & Not Urgent|
The whole talk was inspiring, but the part that struck me the most was her section on burnout. It felt like a revelation. She put into words feelings that I had felt but could not comprehend succinctly or coherently. Earlier that day, in a P.I.E.S (Physical, Intellectual, Emotional & Spiritual) session with Pete, I had expressed feeling some of the signs that she later associated with burnout:
- Frequent headaches
- Diminished Immune system
- Quick to anger
- Suspicious Attitude
- Chronic fatigue
- Cynicism, negativity, irritability
- Emotions quickly out of control
I did not feel all of these, but I felt enough to be alarmed. It also resonated with me because Marc had been talking to us about being a flame in the creative world. As creatives, we should be the flame that attracts the consumer moths. We should be strong, bright, and noticeable. But if I burn out, who will see my flame? If I burn out in the beginning before my wick can be properly lit, what will become of my potential to light up a whole room, draw moths to me, or simply be an enjoyable scented candle?
I am grateful for the talk because I didn’t even know that I was burning out, I thought it was part of the process or that I was simply not strong enough, but that was not true. I was surrounded by incredible support and people who cared but the problem was me, and until I could change, I would continue to be my biggest adversary and depriver of oxygen to my flame. The burnout was stifling my creative abilities and had contributed to my retraction into an adaptive child mode. I could not thrive because I was not present, and this inspired me to write a poem that I titled, “Thirty Days Of Adaptive Child:”
Thirty days of new things thrown my way,
How I made it this far I don’t know,
I’m proud of myself and the progress made each day,
Retrying, relearning, revising – I really did grow.
Thus I’m grateful for all the SCA taught me,
Yet I’m most grateful for what they taught outside the course.
Discovering I’m an adaptive child was something I didn’t foresee,
Adaptive, not playful, I was full of remorse,
Yielding to whatever was in my face
Sacrificing true opinions, hopes, and thoughts.
Overtime okay and fine became my safe space
Forgoing imagination and voice – locking them in vaults.
Absentminded became my default thinking mode,
Daring to go against the grain in unchartered territory.
Advancing, however, means I must let go of the old,
Progress means playful child will be the new me.
Thinking freely, happily with the imagination of a child,
I look forward to meeting this version who lives within.
Venturing into this with the SCA, the most trusted style,
Easing into finding out where I stop and playful me begins.
Creativity within me is aching and fighting its way out,
Holding it back is what I will do no longer.
Indeed I will forgo self-doubt, reiterate and show all what I’m about,
Letting go of my inhibitions and chasing this creative hunger.
Deciding to play intentionally,
30 days of Adaptive Child showed me what I didn’t want to be.
But now that I know what I am doing wrong, I am going to put all of Diana’s tips into practice, and become the biggest and brightest flame that cannot be blown out.