Thursday, January 9, 2014

No Comparison!

Is it really Thursday already? Where did the week go? What do I have to show for it?

I've always been fairly good at time management, but lately I feel that my accomplishments don't measure up. Yes, I have a full time job (and yes, this was the first week of a new term, always crazy), but some of my author colleagues not only hold down jobs but also take care of kids. They still manage to put out a new book every couple of months. What is wrong with me?

Where does my time go? I don't watch television - at all. I do spend a lot of time with my husband, handle the usual shopping and cooking, and so on. Plus I really need a solid eight hours of sleep a night. Sometimes it seems as though I should be able to do more.

One writer friend of mine has three children, two of the autistic. She apologized for not answering my email within twenty four hours. Lady, no apologies are required. I'm in awe of you.

When I start thinking this way, I just have to grab myself by the collar and yell, "Stop!" Comparisons like this are not helpful. They're not motivating, they're depressing. In fact comparing myself to others reduces rather than improves my productivity, because I'm wasting time on beating myself up, when I might be writing, or reading student papers, or working on a project proposal, or doing something else worthwhile.

Worrying and self-castigation are rarely useful. Each of us is an individual, with different lives, different skills, different levels of energy. Comparing myself to another author is like an elephant wishing she were a tiger. I should focus on doing the best that I personally can do.

Now, back to work!

2 comments:

Annabeth Leong said...

I think all these same things, and yet I agree that worrying is rarely useful. I don't know why—I am waiting for the people at the Grip to help me figure it out! ;) Good luck with your stuff!

(And apologies if this is a double post -- my first comment appears to have been eaten).

Kate Deveaux said...

Well said Lisabet,
Best,
Kate

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