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By Sandra Rea, co-founder of Full Circle Media & Author Promotions
As the popular Steve Miller Band song tells us, “Time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’ into the future...” Boy, they got that right. We may not be able to stop time, but we can learn to manage it better. That’s my new mantra. I will manage my time better and take advantage of technologies that allow me to do so!
In keeping with my new mantra, I’m finally using my laptop vs. my dinosaur of a computer, I’m using a wireless mouse for my laptop (which is a whole lot better than depending on my questionable finger coordination in scrolling and clicking the little mouse pad of my Macbook Air), and I am finally using comfortable earbuds for phone conversations. (No more worrying about a phone-related brain ailment.) I’m also using apps over websites, and I’m embracing some of the latest technologies offered by Google. (I think that company’s gonna rule the world.
What I’ve noticed as a result of what turned out to be minor changes that require zero learning curve is that I have way more time to do other things than just write, edit and create marketing campaigns for clients. I even have more time to provide consultation services to authors about matters of writing and publishing. Why? I’m not tethered to my lumbering desktop computer or even to my desk! How freeing. Now all I can say is that I wish I had done this five years ago. I had what I needed to do so even then. But I was stuck. Not by anything external; rather I was stuck by my outmoded mindset... an old and less productive way of thinking. I had a heavy chain of excuses to break through before I could embrace necessary change.
My oldest sons who ran my cyber cafe (so you can see I actually understand technology) would visit me in my office and ask me why I don’t back everything up on my old computer and get something faster. They offered to do the work for me. I would only groan and tell them maybe soon, maybe next year, maybe one day. I was stuck by my anxiety around the perceived time it would take to back things up. I have a lot of files. Most writers who’ve been in the business a long time have too many files to count, and those files... those words we wrote... are like our babies. We want to protect them. We may never look at them again, but by God we wrote them and we love them. So I remained stuck in my uncomfortable executive chair at a desk I no longer like using a computer that lumbered along like a 90-year-old old man with a cane to create my “babies.” No one knew. The outcome was still good writing, but it took me longer and longer and longer to create. It was time for a shift.
Technology would have her way with me, but not in ways you might think. I still had to be shoved. Technology apparently conspired with Nature to push her agenda. I injured my back one day and developed sciatica, something that used to be just a word to me. For the first two days I couldn’t move. I literally couldn’t move without excrutiating pain shooting from an area in my lower back down my right leg and into my foot. There would be no walking for days to follow. There would be severely limited mobility for three weeks. There would be numbness for two months. In fact, as I type these words, I still can’t feel part of my foot. This random and very painful condition meant that I couldn’t sit at my desk. I would be forced to create a new “bed desk” and function with my laptop, with a fat pillow under my knees. Who knew that the injury would actually be a gift?
The next step was to find places other than my bed and desk from which to work. First around my home and then beyond. My world opened. I realized I really could work from anywhere. I tested my theory and headed to northern California. I then flew to Dallas. I’m happy to report that indeed I can work from anywhere, and meetings can be accomplished via phone and Skype. What’s next? I’ll be setting up a Goggle Helpouts presence to offer online consulting and I’m looking at RVs. All it takes is a little hot spot device and I can stay connected even in the highest of mountains and most barren of deserts. To say the least, I’m thrilled.
When I take my working RV trip, I’ll be sure to share pictures from the road so you can celebrate my new life with me. I’ll be buying myself a nice, new smart pad to help me!