An Early End to a Writing Retreat

Modern office workplaceI lead a busy life. Recently, with my new focus on writing and coaching, things seem to have gotten a whole lot busier. Much of it is good (my son coming home from college for spring break) and exciting (an upcoming trip to attend a quilt show and visit my parents).

But there’s been some heartbreaking weeks too as one of my dogs recovers from serious neck disk problems and another has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Somehow the “mom” gene always takes precedence to the “businesswoman” gene and I was falling farther and farther behind in my writing schedule.

This weekend I did something new and brave. I checked myself into a local hotel for four nights with two computers, a mound of reference books, and some snacks. No makeup. No hair products. And not even any workout gear. Nothing to entice me to leave the room for any reason except the free breakfast. Well, that and the fact that there is a crying baby and a barking dog in the next room. (Clearly I need to choose a higher caliber hotel!)

So far I’ve been in my room for 24 hours. I’ve gotten a lot of writing done. But I’m also lonely and missing my family (particularly the 4-legged ones). I can’t sustain this level of intensity without some exercise and regular breaks. So, although four days of non-stop writing sounded like a great idea, I don’t have the stamina to continue. And I recognize that my busy life gives me the balance I need to be creative during my defined work time.

Time to consider this experiment over and go home.

Today, blog about a great idea you had that didn’t turn out the way you expected. Did you learn anything from the experience?



Are you a calendar girl (or guy?)

Calendar Pages and ClockI am one of those people who is seldom late for anything. I scan my appointment calendar every morning and figure out how long the drive will take. (As I live in a rural area, most of my appointments are at least 20 or 30 minutes away.) Then I add a healthy margin for accidents and construction delays. During a day, I may have several errands and appointments. I carry my appointment book everywhere, so there’s no delay in scheduling future events.

I belong to several organizations that meet monthly. It’s always the same time each month (such as the second Tuesday). At the beginning of the year, I pull out my Franklin Covey calendar and note each of the meeting dates. I also note my husband’s work schedule and the college/university schedules. I mark down paydays, seminar dates, doctors’ appointments, vacations, seminars, and anything else that might be important. I carry this calendar in my purse so that I can immediately record any future commitments.

I’m always amazed that people don’t have a scheduling system of some type. More frequently than not, my friends will miss regular meetings because they didn’t know when they were. (Still the second Tuesday of the month, just like always!)

Since I seem to have more than my share of doctor’s appointments, I’m always interested in their system. Several of my doctors use old-fashioned scheduling books. While this seems archaic, the physicians with a computerized system seem to constantly dealing with “the system is down” or “the system is slow.” I’m not sure how much time that saves for a small organization.

Today, blog about how you keep track of your schedule. Are you an old-fashioned, paper calendar person? Do you log appointments on your iPhone? Do you use an online calendar? Is there a system that you do (or don’t) recommend?