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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creating Time to Create

In an email to a writer friend the other day, I was reminded of an incident that helped me learn to free up more time to write.

I am a clean freak; I always have been. I used to vacuum the whole house not once a day, but twice. That's right, twice a day. My friend Anne mentioned this obsession of mine to her mother, who asked if I wore glasses. When Anne replied that I did, her mother suggested that I be advised take them off. She said it would cut my workload right in half.

When Anne reported this conversation to me, I laughed. People had told me that having kids would cure my fixation with cleaning, but having messy little ones around only encouraged my mania. So I did not think removing my glasses would help, but I was willing to give it a try.

Guess what? Eight years later and I vacuum every other day, only once. I never wear my glasses in the house (when I accidentally do, I am horrified and spend the next two days polishing and scrubbing like mad). But my house is acceptably clean, it really is. I have never gotten a complaint from anyone, and in fact continue to be complimented on the cleanliness of my home when people visit (and I let visitors wear their glasses in the house!) I just don't run for the vacuum or dust cloth every time a thread drops on the carpet or end table. And the only reason is because I can't see it. If I could.....

So if you need more time to devote to your creative endeavors, take your glasses off (metaphorically, of course). Turn off your internet connection, your cell phone, your vacuum, whatever it is you know you spend too much time on. It won't kill you. I know, because it didn't kill me, and I really thought it might.

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