If you ask people what their favorite day of the week is, most will say Friday, Saturday or Sunday, for obvious reasons. While I love a weekend, these days are not my favorite days. That honor is reserved for Tuesday.
Because that’s my writing day. No client calls, no networking lunches. Not even any school pick-ups. The hours from 9-5 are mine, all mine. I even have my office – which I share with a fellow local entrepreneur – all to myself, as my officemate spends Tuesdays in an office in Boston.
Let me tell you, it is heaven.
It does take work to maintain. I have to pay for childcare for my daughter and arrange a ride home for my son. I have to be ruthless about not scheduling meetings on that day of the week.
But it makes every other day of the week a little sweeter, because I know that I’ll have some uninterrupted time to tend to the projects that are calling to my heart.
Are you making time to work on the important stuff?
It doesn’t have to be a whole day to count—although, if you can swing it, I highly recommend it. It could be a full morning or afternoon. Or it could be 30 minutes or an hour every day. (My friend Siobhan wrote a great blog post about how she wrote her highly-acclaimed first novel in 15 minutes a day, with a preschooler and a full-time job.)
Last week, I traveled to New York City to moderate a panel at the annual conference of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, an organization I’ve been a member of for many years. (That’s a picture of me and ¾ of my panelists, from left to right Brooke Thomas, Laura Vanderkam, moi, and Dana D’Orsi.) The panel was on creating and selling information products—which is a fancy term for ebooks, online classes and other programs. I asked my panelists how they make time to work on these projects.
And Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (if you’ve been reading a while, you know I love this book!) and the about-to-be-released I Know How She Does It, made a great point. She counsels carving out a little time each day—and this is the crucial part—do it when your energy is highest. If you have a sinking spell every afternoon, that’s not the time.
If you have never sat down with a weekly calendar and figured out a time for doing the things that are calling to you, this is your sign that it’s time to give it a try. You may have to experiment a bit to find the time that sticks, and you may have to figure it out all over again in a few months when something else in your schedule shifts. But you will be amazed at how energizing it is to know that you have time set aside for the stuff that speaks to your soul.
And if you do it—or you’ve already implemented a soul day—tell me about it in the comments! Let’s inspire each other.
4 thoughts on “Make Time for Your Soul Work. Protect It With All You’ve Got.”
Love this post, Kate! I’m trying to implement 8:30 – 10:00 each morning for fiction. I find that I go through weeks where I guard it with my life, and then other weeks where I let it slip. There is a balance between being steadfast about it, and not beating myself up if I let other things take priority for a few mornings. It’s tricky. But when I’m working on it, I’m in another time mode altogether. I’m immersed, and I LOVE that feeling.
Man, I love that feeling too, Judi! I think every time you DO sit down and do it you’re making a deposit in the bank — so those days where you don’t, you’ve still got equity built up. The trick is to not let yourself get so down about missing here and there that you don’t get back to it. No one is going to say, “Oh you didn’t write your book every single day? I’m not interested.” Only your ego cares.
I always look forward to Kate’s emails and this one really spoke to my heart. I’ve been strugling with anxiety and often feel overwhelmed and tired. I’ve been working on meditation, yoga, and to find ways to accept where I am now and work towards where I wanna be. Thats already a big load there lol
I work in a hotel six days a week. Rarely get a sunday or saturday off and it sucks big times. To make my life a little better, I’ve decided that all my days off I’m gonna do what i love the most: stay home and do nothing or things i really enjoy. I’m entitled to a movie, coloring, reading, sleeping during the afternoon, just relax. I rush during my work days, so I can just enjoy my day off with whatever I wanna do. I’ve just started this recently and it has been working well. Thank you Kate! Big hug from Brasil.
Jackie! Big hug right back at you, honey. [[[[[[[[you]]]]]] I so support you really indulging yourself on your days off. I bet doing that will help you see opportunities to infuse a little more happiness in to your work days too. Keep in touch and tons of love from Providence! xo