Wednesday’s webinar focused on how to use one of my thinking tools, the Plan Your Escape tool, to manage time and personal expectations of oneself. This is how we did the Practice:After Gathering and performing the Self-Hug, we used a prompt that described the problem. The prompt that we used for our clusters was the word “time,” and my request was for them to consider how they used it. I set the timer for two minutes, then they wrote the word in the center circle and went to work.
When they’d finished, I led them all in a Self-Hug to give themselves encouragement because they had tangible proof that they had done something spontaneous and creative.
When the students reviewed their clusters, two noticed that they had listed all of the activities they spent time doing but had listed themselves last. They both realized that they never left time for themselves! There was the root problem- they didn’t have any time because they didn’t schedule it! The WOTD Practice gets right to the heart of the matter. They were both surprised to see that they did not include themselves in their lives, much less put themselves in the center.
I suggested that if they imagined that they were literally another person for whom they were responsible, they would be shocked at their own treatment of themselves. Further, they were putting themselves at an unnecessary risk of physical exhaustion and illness. What to do? I suggested one of my neuro hacks and told them that the only way to regain control of their time was to “Reserve the right to cancel.” I explained that when you’ve trapped yourself with too many obligations, you must somehow create some time for yourself—accepting that this is a problem you have ends the internal argument and frees you to focus on solutions, such as delegating things you don’t need to do yourself.
For example, another student realized that he was sacrificing time that he needed to spend at work to fulfill a family obligation. When he spoke about his cluster, he commented that sometimes, no one even noticed if he was there when he fulfilled this obligation! I laughed and said, “Great, you’ve solved your own problem!”
“How?” He looked baffled.
“Because you just have to figure out when you won’t be missed, and then you don’t have to be there! “
This hadn’t occurred to him, but when I asked him if he was living up to a promise he had made to himself rather than one he’d made to his family, the lightbulb came on. He realized that this was exactly the case, and the way that he could plan his escape was to determine when his family wanted him to be there rationally. Another neuro hack I call “Lower Your Unrealistic Expectations” allowed him to look at the real problem: it wasn’t about meeting his family’s expectations; it was meeting his own! A solution could be that he finds out when they most want to see him and makes decisions based on the facts. This neuro hack helped my other two students who saw that their unrealistic expectations had led them to overschedule their time.
Here’s what one student said about the class:
Wednesday, January 31st, WOTD, we explored planning our escapes again by using our stronger selves to muster the strength to break free from our self-imposed limitations.
Years ago, I gave my “stronger self” the name Artemis. My father wanted to name me Artemis at birth but got outvoted. Artemis is a strong figure in Greek mythology, so naturally, I would want that stronger self to be something bigger than I perceive myself. I love myself, but sometimes, I worry too much about pleasing others and sabotaging what I need to survive and thrive.
Time is one of them. Writing takes time, and it is easy to say, “I am too busy and didn’t have the time to write.” When I really wanted to say that I gave too much of my writing time to others who may or may not have valued it. I need to be healthy to function for everyone, which means I must write above all else.
We discussed things we couldn’t change, accepted our choices, and moved on. That’s a tough one for people who are self-sacrificing by nature. Marilyn said that “nice people reserve the right to cancel.”
That quote gave my stronger self a new way to communicate with all my time obligations and incorporate time for what nurtures my soul. Call it prioritizing or time management in the business world, but it’s much more profound in the writer’s world.
As we explored in the WOTD class, “Whose movie do you want to be in?” Is your current movie yours or someone else’s?
You make that choice, but remember, “nice people reserve the right to cancel.”
There always seems to be confusion about how to visualize for success. I found this post, and it’s one of the clearest and most specific I’ve read. The author, Katie Doll, is a really good writer! Find it here and enjoy.
To recap, using the Word of the Day tool will allow you to solve problems quickly by leading you to the part of yourself that always knows the truth!
Please join me on Social Media, read my new book, join my newsletter for a free gift, and come to the next webinar, which will be about how to use the WOTD technique to deal with love.
My friend, Meredith Oppenheim, is offering a master class at NYU that incorporates some of the great events offered at the Vitality Society, an amazing educational community for people 60 and up.
Learn more and sign up for the NYU course at Empowering Your Mind and Body to Enjoy Life the Most: A Master Class with Meredith Oppenheim
The Next Word of the Day Webinar
7:00 pm EST
Writers listen up! What’s the most powerful tool you can use to tap into real-life experiences and use those insights to hone your craft? Find out on Wednesday, February 21!
Whether your Valentine’s Day was a success or a flop, this session will help you transform personal experiences with life and love into authentic and powerful material for your novel or screenplay.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz