Leap Year. An extra day. Oh, boy!
Since I don’t need to spend time on any Sadie Hawkins activities, maybe I’ll invest the day finishing projects that have fallen to the bottom of my ever-expanding to-do list. Often these are half-finished home improvement, clutter removal, paper filing or garden projects. Tasks I figured would take me, say, a day when I started them. Unfortunately I have a severe handicap when it comes to estimating woman-hours per job.
As my husband will testify, I have no problem leaping. My inclination is to say, ‘Sure, I can do that. Shouldn’t take me more than a day (or hour) or two.” I’m an optimist. And, yes, the appropriate adjective is cockeyed.
When it comes to professional matters, I’ve learned to follow the advice provided by my better half after observing my time management skills for a number of years. Before I promise a client a completion date, I tell myself to take a deep breath and multiply whatever number I think is realistic by three or four. Usually this means I only have to stay up until midnight to finish on time instead of pulling an all-nighter. If I’ve promised someone else to finish a job, I keep my promise.
I’m not so kind to myself. I find it very hard to say “no” if I’m asked to judge a writing contest, help a fellow author with a critique, write and layout a newsletter for a nonprofit I believe in, or serve as secretary for our neighborhood association. Often that means the only pruning my roses get comes courtesy of beavers, and the floor has become my filing cabinet because I can’t stuff another thing in the hanging folders.
So, this leap year (starting now), I promise myself to become more selective with my leaps. It’s okay to say “no” to outside commitments in order to say “yes” to my own projects—including reading for the sheer pleasure of it.
Now there’s something to leap on. Time for me.
How do you carve out time for yourself—to write, to dream, to relax?