29 May 2011

Know Thyself

Life has a habit of getting away from us. It certainly has a habit of getting away from me. My To Do list should be written on an old fax roll. Or better, toilet paper, because that's where I feel it should go, down the pan.

So it was a spare of the moment decision, like the day before, to add another job to my overwhelming list - a job that would take all day: attending the internet based Massive Action Day organised by Jurgen Wolff. If you've not come across him he's a NLP Practitioner and a writer, not just a writer in his profession, but a writer for movies, television and the stage - which is what drew me. He's a person who has juggled with our sort of creative writing and come out the other side.

I logged on, said hi to other participants via a text window, and named my task. The system was to concentrate on one task - any task - for 55 minutes, then as the clock struck he'd chime in with a 5 minute video giving tips for creativity or time management. Participants could log off if they wanted, or stay live and along with Jurgen offer encouragement and suggestions via the text window throughout the session. At the end of each session we'd chime in with how we'd done and our goal for the next session.

If this had been explained this to me beforehand I would have raised a cynical eyebrow, as I am sure you are doing, too, but it worked, and in more ways than I ever would have imagined. Biggest lesson self-learned? I underestimate how long a task will take – by a huge 50%. No wonder my To Do List needs that toilet roll.

The MAD event went on from 9am-1am UK time with Jurgen staying at the helm throughout, welcoming the world as different time zones logged in, and the rest of us dipping in and out or finishing as we needed. My expectation was to stay with it for four hours – after all, I had loads to do. Apart from lunch and cooking the family dinner I was there 13 hours. Time flew by and I didn’t feel tired until the end; now there’s a first.

How much did this MAD event cost me? Not a bean. Not even a hard sell, or even a gentle sell. Jurgen Wolff is an extremely amiable, grounded fella. He runs http://www.timetowrite.blogs.com/ and offers a free monthly newsletter Brainstorm & Focus. With a bit of luck the next MAD event will be in July. That’ll be a date then.
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