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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Take Time for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson

The full title of this book is Take Time for Your Life: A Personal Coach's Seven-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want. It's a good one for your self-improvement shelf of your home library.

Cheryl's book was published in 1998, and I've read it twice so farSeptember 2002 and September 2010. Don't know why it was September both times, but I'm gonna break that streak and reread it this month. Watching an old VHS tape of a short interview of Cheryl reminded me of this great book.

There are two things that stuck with me, from the two readings, from the interview and from a longer PBS program on Cheryl that I remember watching long ago.

First, in line with the Law of Vacuum, Cheryl states, if you want new clients/more business, go empty a drawer in your office. This law also works when you donate clothing and electronics to Goodwill, too, by blessing you in various areas of your life.

Second, deal with procrastination. Like FLYLady.net reminds us, clutter can be in the mind as well. The Bible tells us to get rid of anger before going to bed at night. It also tells us to share our sins with others (such as a minister or doctor or simply in a letter that you burn afterward). We aren't meant to hold stuff in. Like that great line in the movie French Kiss, it festers inside us. I believe it causes all manner of diseases.

But, back on track here, Cheryl tells us to make a list of all the stuff that needs to be done, that's been nagging at us, over and over. Then we mark it Delegate (good for lawn care that your teenagers can tend to), Do It (for dentist appointments where only you can handle it) or Hire Someone (maybe to prepare income taxes). Then comes the kicker. She wants us to complete that list over the next thirty days. Gasp! I think I remember her saying to pick the top ten worrywarts from our list.

So I'm taking baby steps here and made a list of my top three. Got the bush transplanted in my front yard. (Hope it lives.) Gathered the nonworking electronics stuff on one side of the garage, awaiting a drop-off at Best Buy to scavenge for parts (unless those practices have changedneed to check online). Haven't gotten this errand accomplished as it entails my son's truck and, since I need his help loading, his time too. Haven't found the right opening in his schedule yet.

Plus it's been raining here, so not a good time to cart stuff in the open bed of a pickup. But I'm getting there. Just knowing it could be done in weeks (instead of years) is freeing.

My third project is a final edit on the third tale and then uploading my first short story collection to my three main venues. Hope to get to this any time that I am in between copyediting projects.

All this positive, productive activity is lending itself to other acts of organization. It's wonderful when that happens.

So start small and repeat daily and watch for miracles.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

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