I have a saying in my classroom: We work smarter not harder in Wanket World. (My name is Mrs. Wanket at work. I know. I know.) That doesn’t mean we don’t work hard. It just means we work with purpose and focus on our collective and individual goals. We don’t flail around with busy work. We have goals. We do more in such a way that we get more. More skill, more pages written, more ideas explored.
The classroom scene gets me to thinking. . . .I can do so much more in all areas of my life with just a little bit of extra work.
I could add ten minutes to my cardio and strength routine every day.
I could get my students’ papers back to them faster.
I wrote 1600 words of my WIP yesterday. Could I write just 400 more today, make it an even two thousand?
The cumulative effects of these three tiny little upticks in work effort might be pretty great. I might write another book this year. I might get stronger than I’ve ever been before.
There will have to be sacrifices. If I’m going to spend more time in the gym, I’m going to have to wake up dumb early five mornings a week. Even dumber early than usual. I’m going to have to turn away from social media for a few hours a day. I’m going to have to tax my brain to write more words.
There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. (Yeah, I got that line off a sign on the wall of my gym. It is a pretty great gym, though.)
An interviewer I spoke with last week wanted to know how I could possibly be a writer and work full time and raise a family. The only answer is to be unafraid of work.
My advice to myself is to take advantage of my time and position and work hard on behalf of education, art and health. Be unafraid of the extra words, extra reps, extra time spent on work. The results will be exciting, for me, for my readers, for my students.
We all deserve the best that I can do.
Pick three areas of your life and imagine a work upgrade. They don’t have to be time increases, but they should increase output and efficiency some way. Could you us a new laptop? A better work chair? A driver so that you can answer emails on the way to work? In an imagination game, write about three upgrades that would make it so you could generate more output.
If an interviewer asked you how you manage everything in your life, how would you answer? Think about how you balance your responsibilities so well, perhaps better than you give yourself credit for. You take for granted all of the things you do in a day. What support do you get from others or from within yourself to make it possible?
List everything you accomplished this past week. Think of everything and make a big long list. Dang, friend. You work hard.