I'd like to thank Tonya for allowing me to hang out on her blog today. She heard I had a new book out, and asked if I'd like a spot. Okay -- I begged her and she finally relented, but that's as close to the truth as I'm getting without a lie detector. (Can you tell that my books have humor in them? Thought so.) So I started thinking what I would write about, and I was so busy that it was hard to come up with something. Then it occurred to me -- I needed to write what I know. Which is how to handle being super busy.
Now, I didn't write the book on being busy, but I understand it. My Twitter bio says "I run Marketing for Romance Writers, the Romance Lives Forever blog, and The Author's Secret. I also sleep, eat, and write. Not at the same time. Usually." People who know me wonder how I get so much done. I'm not a human whirlwind. I just have priorities, and make time for them. Everything else will either take care of itself or wait. I've learned it's okay to let opportunities go, and let some details fall by the wayside. I only have one life, and I refuse to live it in a hurry. It will end soon enough.
Everyone has times when there's too much going on. We snap our fingers at a microwave and wish it would hurry. We barely have time to drink instant coffee. We get to the end of the day exhausted, but feel we haven't done enough. Sound familiar? Here are three simple things I do to slow myself down. Perhaps they'll help you.
#1 Get enough sleep.
Don't laugh. If you're tired, your reactions are slower. Lack of sleep can impair your driving as severely as a glass of alchol. You can make bad decisions. You can make costly mistakes that will take you more time to correct. How much sleep you need is different for each person. A few hours more sleep will do you more good than a few hours more work. Thriller author Robert Ludlum had a line in his Jason Bourne novels that speaks to this. When everyone was hunting Jason, he found a place to hide, and grabbed some sleep. Why? As Jason put it, "Sleep is a weapon." It makes you sharper than the other guy. As an author in a competitive marketplace and world, you need that advantage.
#2 Eat healthy food.
Loading up on the sugary drinks, high-fat foods, and carbohydrate-laden foods available at most fast food places can take a toll. Think you're too busy to eat properly? Try using regular menus, or once-a-month-cooking. Create a cycle of meals and food that you rotate on a regular basis. This eliminates the need to make decisions every day about what to serve. One of the most stressful parts of the day can be deciding what to make for dinner. On days when you've pre-planned your meals, all you have to do is prepare it and serve it. No stress involved. You can make healthy fast food choices. Rather than grabbing a candy bar, try a nutrition bar. It will make a huge difference in your energy level.
#3 Spend time listening.
Let your friend, co-worker, child, or signifant other finish what they're saying and don't try to think of an answer before they're even through. Sit in a park and listen to the sounds of nature. Turn off the music. Turn off the TV. Put down the phone. Go for a walk without headphones. When was the last time it was quiet in your world? If you can't remember, it's time to seek out silence. Another advantage to listening is that you pick up ideas for stories, and see answers to problems. When you're not the one talking, it is less stressful. Listen without doing other things. You will enjoy it more.
So, if you want to slow down when you're too busy, instead of staying up a little longer, go to bed early. Pass up the junk food and have a piece of fruit and some peanut butter. Rather than multi-tasking, do one thing at a time. Slow down. You'll live longer and feel better. And in my experience, it will help you get more done.
Kayelle Allen, author of Fifty Gays of Shade
At Shady Business, the hottest gay BDSM club in town, no good deed ever goes unpunished.
The book is edited by Kiernan Kelly, with stories by Kiernan Kelly, Kayelle Allen, KC Burn, Lydian Harker, CR Guilano, Sascha Illyvich, Wt Prater, Emily Moreton, CC Bridges, Wade Kelly, CB Conwy, DC Juris, Amelia June, KC Wells, Winnie Jerome, PT Walden, and Sean Michael.
Torquere Press http://is.gd/50gaysofshade
Author website http://kayelleallen.com/exc-fifty.html
Other books by Kayelle Allen: At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, For Women Only, Wulf: Tales of the Chosen, Alitus: Tales of the Chosen, Jawk: Tales of the Chosen, Surrender Love.