A game by Heather Logas and her friends

Motivation Tuesday 7/31

Several years ago, someone gave me very good and valuable advice which I unfortunately only remembered recently. I was taking a writing workshop, and at the end the women (it was all older women for some reason except for myself) were discussing how they found time to work on their own personal projects, despite their many other responsibilities. One woman explained her secret: She worked for herself first. She woke up before her children and before checking email, before exercising or client work, she wrote for herself.

It makes so much sense. The work that is “required” of me will get done no matter what. Its the creative work that falls off the plate if it has to wait. Its so tempting to say “I’ll just get these three things done today, then use the rest of the day to work on my project.” But those three things might have unforeseen delays, or you may just be too exhausted by the end of the day to get to the work that really matters to you.

My new job has been far more hectic than I was expecting, and I’ve never been able to wake up before my children. But my hours are flexible and my daughter just started summer school. So here is the new productivity plan:
Before bed:

  1. Spend a few minutes tidying the work space
  2. Close all tabs on Chrome that do not pertain to BYCYE (I’m lookin at you: email and Facebook!)
  3. Close all programs that do not pertain to BYCYE
  4. Set Pandora station to my custom BYCYE station
  5. Post on my bulletin board one main goal and one stretch goal for the next day

Steps 1 – 4 are to minimize distractions in the morning, and step 5 is so I don’t have to spend any time the next day deciding what to work on.

Then, in the morning:

  1. Take daughter to school
  2. Take a few personal minutes at community breakfast over coffee and oatmeal
  3. Come home and feed baby, see if he’ll nap. (If not, do next two steps anyway, with him on my lap if need be).
  4. Fill water bottle
  5. Work for one hour
  6. Only then, start my “official” work day.

Step 2 above is important, as it will give me a couple minutes to clear my head of mental distractions. Again, the idea is to set things up to best facilitate working.

This is my strategy, starting tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. I’d love to hear how others manage to get in time for their creative pursuits, or if you have any other tips I could use.

Dream well,