Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Protecting Our Creative Time

Keeping the time open to do creative work can be as difficult as protecting pristine wilderness. The urge to take on too much--and make other people happy in the moment--can be overwhelming.

Today a column for teenagers by Lacia Johnson in The Jamaica Observer offers a checklist of questions to consider when somebody else has an interesting plan for a piece of our time.

Do I have the time (without delaying my own work)?
Will I feel pressured to get it done?
Will I be upset with myself?
Will I feel resentful of the other person?
Will I feel duped, had or swindled?
What do I have to give up to do this?

In my experience, the easiest way to make the right decision is to say: let me think about that and call you tomorrow.

3 comments:

Debra Whaley said...

This is a good checklist for making sure that someone isn't just saying "yes" out of habit or obligation.

I like your technique of allowing yourself some time to breath before making a decision. I have often regretted making a commitment after saying "yes" prematurely. I try not to do that anymore.

Lisa Gates said...

Peggy, I am often asking that last one...what do I have to give up to do this. But having the space to make the consideration is the piece we often forget I think. So your advice to sleep on it is right on.

Peggy said...

That's three of us, Debra and Lisa, who like the idea of sleeping on it.

At the same time, I find that I am the greatest nibbler at my time. Not so much others. I need to have that same conversation with myself.