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Time Management Gold: “YES Makes Less”

Photo: Cellar Door Films ~ WANA Commons

Photo credit: Cellar Door Films via WANA Commons on Flickr

by Jenny Hansen

 

This last week, in Why and How Creative People Say No, two of my fave bloggers, Steven Pressfield or Shawn Coyne, referenced a post by Kevin Ashton on creativity.

What I loved about this post is the advice can be used for ANY endeavor, from starting a business to writing a book.

The part that resonated with me the most:

Time is the raw material of creation.

Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating.

Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation.

The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.

Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know.

We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy.

Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview, this letter, this trip to the movies, this dinner with friends, this party, this last day of summer. How much less will I create unless I say “no?” A sketch? A stanza? A paragraph? An experiment? Twenty lines of code?

The answer is always the same: “yes” makes less.

We do not have enough time as it is. There are groceries to buy, gas tanks to fill, families to love and day jobs to do.

***************

Amen! And now I have a smokin’ new motto to put on my inspiration wall. 🙂

Are you a “YES” person, a “NO” person, or somewhere in between? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter.

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

 

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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