For as long as I can remember I’ve worked for someone. I’ve always had a boss. And no, I’m not going to get all “God is the boss of my life” on you. I do believe He’s in control but that’s not where I’m going with this.
In my career/work life, I’ve been a nurse that answers to doctors and supervisors. They tell me what to do and I do it. It’s actually a very simple formula. At home, my kids are my boss. I know this sounds weird since it’s supposed to be the other way around. If you asked them they would say I’m the boss of them. This is what they believe and I need them to believe that so they’ll obey me…most of the time. Most of the time they obey me. Ok, some of the time. Ok, after I ask them 17 times and I’m shouting at them. Whatever. They think I’m the boss. What they don’t know is my life, to a point, revolves around their activities and care. When they were younger it was like working for miniature terrorists. They would make demands and didn’t understand English. And when they didn’t get their way they would declare war in a screaming/crying fit or they would whine. Forever. These were hard times. You’ll be glad to know they are no longer terrorists and can negotiate sensibly. Usually. Whining never actually dies.
Anyway, the point is, someone has always dictated my schedule or told me the expectation for the job I am to perform. I’m actually very comfortable with this set up. I’m no chief; I’m a good little Indian. I like following rules and helping out just tell me what you need me to do for you. This season of life has been a transition for me to say the least. With my kids in school, I feel like it’s cut my caretaker job down to part time since they’re not with me for 7 hours of the day. I also decided to work at my nursing job less so I would have more time to write. But here’s the thing:
I stink at being my own boss.
I am no good when left to my own devices. I piddle around the house. I run errands just to get out of the house. Heck, I even exercise to avoid sitting down at the computer. Exercise, people! Now, the exercise has proven to be beneficial but the rest is just a distraction. I move inconsequential things up on my priority list and shove writing down to the bottom and at the end of the day it’s left unchecked on my “to-do” list. Then I whine in my head about how I just don’t have enough time to write. Why do I do this? Why do I trade something that fills my soul for a pile of clothes that need folding? The more I ponder it the more I think it’s because writing can be hard. It’s intimidating to let your thoughts have free reign to become words on a page. I’m not always sure what’s going to come out in my mental upchuck. Sometimes the things that come out are embarrassing. I don’t always want to be honest about things I’m ashamed of. Sometimes things that I find funny fall flat on other people. The story on paper isn’t as good as the one in my head. So I fold clothes and I go to the grocery store and I make lists of things I “need” to get done. And then, at the end of the day I wonder why I feel unaccomplished. I wonder why I don’t seem to get enough done. I have a sneaking suspicion that when you don’t do work that fills your soul, you will be left wanting more out of life.
Why am I telling you all this? I tell you this because I need your help. For those of you who are gifted in time management and being your own boss, what are your tricks? How do you stay on task? How do you choke down the enemy of distraction? Leave a comment for me if you have any wisdom that would be helpful! Thanks in advance!
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