It took me seven weeks. Plus, the five before that but I’ve decided not to count those. Seven—or twelve—weeks to push back the mound of to do’s on my list and get back to writing my book. The only thing, coincidentally that stays on my to do list because I actually want it there.
Like all of your to do lists, mine is filled with things that feel mandatory. Client work to be done. New clients to be handled. Five weeks sucked up by the preparation for and the taking of a 17 day trip to South America (which is why I consider not counting it, I mean who could carve out time to write a book during that?!?) Christmas, New Years, my son and husband’s birthdays all to be handled. Weekend after weekend of working on our house remodel. My office getting finished and moving into it. Hours in labs and Dr. offices dealing with an auto immune disorder that appeared in my life last August that we still don’t understand. Hiring a project manager, finding cooking help, getting a college counselor for my son, fence estimates …need I go on? After many weeks, I finally got my time back and successfully scheduled time for writing in my schedule. And a yoga class.
Finally, my nirvana week: enough time to write, workout, sleep and serve clients. Two hours of writing time on five of my days. That’s eight hours more than I’ve had for a number of months. Enough to maybe say I’m a writer when someone asks what I do. Or at least not to feel silly when I say I’m halfway through writing a book. The week was here and then I was living it, not planning it.
How did I do? Well, turns out I like to write for about 45 minutes and then I’m antsy. That I don’t like to write in the afternoon nearly as much as the morning. That when I’m worried about money, I’ll spend an hour puttering around the kitchen wondering how to solve it rather than sitting at my desk writing. That when something scheduled takes longer than the time I gave it on my schedule that it’s not easy for me to stop and go to the next thing. That I don’t always “feel” like doing what I’ve scheduled and that if I don’t sleep well the night before, I’ll take a nap rather than write. Long story short: 4.5 hours of writing and no yoga class. 50% on one goal and a no show on the other. Total failure as far as the stats go.
Bummed? Nope, I’m elated. Why? Here’s what I learned from this week that could support you, too:
- Planning is one thing, living is another. Those two things come together over time, not overnight. Because I planned and also then accurately tracked how I spent my time, I now have the chance to make a better plan for next week, and even better the week after.
- Honoring our personal preferences and natural strengths creates ease. Ignoring them makes our tasks feel hard or possibly not doable. Because I like writing in the morning, I’ll do more to protect that writing time in the morning and move appointments and other activities to the afternoon.
- Worry and anxiety are only intensified by focusing on them. Acting in ways that can do something about them make you feel stronger and more capable. So address them directly with action rather than going around in your mind.
- Working when inspired to do something makes it go more quickly. While this might cause some scheduling havoc, I’m taking advantage and enjoying this now. When I sat down, I was going to edit some client copy but instead inspiration struck and here I am with a blog written in less than 20 minutes. If I had scheduled blog time in, I would have given it an hour and used an hour and a half.
Seeing my nirvana week in this way let’s me keep going, feel good about what I’ve learned and stay on the journey that takes a thousand steps. If I had only focused on what I did or didn’t do, I’d miss all the juicy stuff of getting to know my own process.
Is there a big task you want to get to but don’t? Do you have trouble wrestling your schedule around to accommodate the real you? I hope these perspectives support you in some way. Because the lens we put on when viewing ourselves should show us in our best light.