This necklace entitled trade bead tribute, is by Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque and is an example of bead time discernment.

Practice Bead Time Discernment

1,440. Minutes. Daily.

We each receive the same allotment of time and yet what we produce varies dramatically. Some months ago, Tracking Wonder guru Jeffrey Davis challenged me to evaluate my time spent: various projects, pro bono activities, learning sessions, J-O-B opportunities.

An evaluation exercise such as this produces extraordinary reflection, the analysis from which life changes can be made.

The recent airport display for the Bead Society of New Mexico, for example, included a huge time commitment: meeting hours for committee members and their helpers, painting of displays, coordinating photo shoots, printing, arranging details, working with a dozen or more different personalities to set up more than 150 items in a meaningful display.

Laura Randolph, President, Mama’s Minerals, recognized it this way:

“Congratulations to BSNM and all who worked on this project.  It takes a lot to put something like this together.  It is a fine achievement with many hours of hard work behind it.”

Thank you Laura for encapsulating the truth of this work (“a fine achievement”) without bogging down in the endless detail, colors, placement, volunteers, systems for check in, pickup, and a thousand other details.

What is the reward/payoff for collaborative project involvement? How will you decide where to spend time for your cause, your organization or your future?

You must decide. At Tracking Wonder, Jeffrey refers to discernment. Use discernment, he advises, to allocate your time. He goes on to talk about a strategic mindset that takes into account the different aspects each project may represent. For me, this is a welcome tempering of the black/white reality presented as truth by many.

I find discernment particularly critical to help me avoid the shineys. The shineys tempt, beckon, coax and eventually drown me in a whirlpool of deadlines. Like many makers, I find the lure of new projects important, stimulating and necessary for creativity to evolve. 

The downside of divergent activities is a loss of purpose, an overwhelming sense of obligation to meet deadlines and perform tasks.

A famous Warren Buffett quote says this:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” 

As I pondered how to better address my time discernment question, another quote rose to the top of my screen: 

“Living in the present moment requires discretion toward memory. Without memory we’d have amnesia. What good would there be in that? Offer discretion and discernment for our past with a broad spectrum of forgiveness. As for our present moment, delight. And dedication to remain fully present to all the possibility.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher, “Lean Forward into Your Life”

In a moment of clarity, I realized ‘bead time discernment’ would become my go-to phrase. Let me explain. Committee work, such as the airport display committee fulfills a social component in my life, allowing me to work with other like-minded souls on projects important to me. Because projects such as this do not allow for bead time, they must have limits.

The component I’ll add immediately: bead time discernment. Time to make things with beads. Time to experiment with bead placement and design. Time to teach others about beading. Bead time discernment on my calendar for the near term.

Do you have a tried and turn method of bead time discernment that works for you?