One of my best friend’s nicknames is Groundhog Day. Seen the movie? A news reporter (played by the ever funny Bill Murray) finds himself trapped in the same day over and over and over again. My friend wakes up early and follows the same routine. Every. Day. No. Exception. Just like in the movie. His day includes walking the dog, exercise, being the first in the office, a lot of various tasks such as appointments, research, etc, visiting his mom every afternoon without fail (I know, he’s a great guy), and so on, until it’s time to set his Groundhog Alarm Clock again (you know, the antiquated, digital one with the big, flipping letters tuned to that same annoying radio show that slaps him awake insanely early every morning. “Rise and shine, campers! It’s a cooooold one out there!”) .
Unfortunately, my best friend does not enjoy the same immortality as Bill Murray did in the movie. Then again, was that really such a great thing? But I’ve digressed. Perhaps one of the most important benefits my best friend does enjoy is that he is within the top percentage of people in his field, not just regionally, but in the world.
And so we come to the second to last letter in the L.E.G.A.C.Y. Blog series. “C” for cadence.
We don’t have to live out Groundhog Day (or adopt it as a nickname), but having rhythm in our lives, a system, a routine, is absolutely vital to vocational efficiency and effectiveness.
My best friend is my mentor in this area (as well as in others). I’ve strived for years to have daily cadence. Don’t get me wrong, life is going to throw you some curves, and vacations are a must (just wait till our last letter in this blog series). Even Groundhog Day likes to take vacations and has to sometimes alter his routine.
But it’s the principle that matters.
I have found that following a daily, printed schedule, which I keep nerdily on my desk, REALLY helps with cadence. If I have to put a fire out, when I get back to my studio, I just look at the schedule and I say, “Okay, so this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Cool.”
It is amazing what one can accomplish by following a schedule. It keeps one from spending too much time on one thing (my biggest weakness; e.g., I’ll get going on a song project or short story, etc, and will do nothing but that until it’s finished. Now, I ask you, is that effective?) For an artist, submission is vital. Including submission as one of my schedule slots has been paramount in furthering my career. Hey, if you don’t enter the lottery, how the heck are you going to win?
See you all in Punxsutawney …
Yours in literature,