Are you finding it tough to find the time to write? Well, you’re not alone! Modern life is hectic and many of us can find our creative time slipping to one side as a result. Women, in particular, I think, can have particular difficulties making time to write as often they’re not only dealing with their jobs, but they also can have families and domestic chores to manage on top. However, I have a few ideas that might help! If you read my last blog on the importance of making a decision in terms of completing writing projects, then this post will hopefully support you in terms of making that choice to actually finish a creative work a reality.
My coaching mentor, Martha Beck, talks about the 3 Bs as ways to create more time for the things we love or at least make tasks we loathe more bearable! The first of her Bs involves asking if we can bin a task – meaning, do you actually have to do it? Sometimes, we feel obligated to do things due to habit, the need to please others or because of our own (often limiting) belief system, so it’s good for us writers to very compassionately look at whether the world would actually halt if we stopped mopping the kitchen floor daily or attending PTA meetings. Remember, we’re considering this so we can make more time to write, so be as honest as possible and see if you can let an activity go in order to have a tryst
with your creativity.
The second of Martha’s Bs involves bartering out tasks – i.e. either swapping skills with someone who loves the thing you loathe (some people love doing bookkeeping, for example – shocking as that idea is to me!) or paying someone to do something (like cleaning) in order to free yourself from a disliked activity and, in our case, give yourself more time to be creative. I understand that not everyone has cash to pay others to help, but we all have skills that others don’t, so there might be a good opportunity here to help someone you care about and get helped in return (and that always feels lovely!).
Martha’s third B involves bettering a task – as in playing music whilst we do the wretched cleaning so it feels better – and maybe then things will get done more quickly (as well as less painfully), possibly freeing up more blessed writing time (huzzah!).
However, lately I’ve really become aware of the power of postponing. Okay, so maybe we can’t bin or barter out a certain activity – maybe the dishes have to be done, so we don’t end up living in total chaos, but they can be done in twenty minutes. They don’t need to be done now! You can set your timer for 20 minutes and then, after you’ve written, you deal with the dirty plates. Believe me, they are not going anywhere!
Some people can get very anxious when I talk about them using their time in a different way as we’re all creatures of habit and like our routines. Indeed, our belief systems about having to have the house looking a certain way before we write or even how our creative needs really aren’t as important as everyone else’s (something which women are, arguably, culturally trained to feel) can hold us back from making changes which would allow us not only to write more and feel more joy as a result, but also to become powerful role models for our families and friends in terms of living lives of profound self-care, ones in which we treasure and express our singular gifts.
I learnt the hard way, after becoming chronically ill due to my workaholism (the one addiction society cheers you on for having), that taking time for restorative activities is essential, but I especially think that writers who don’t write at all or enough for their own satisfaction aren’t generally happy bunnies and that can impact on their mood and relationships with others too.
So, if there’s a choice to postpone something today or a way you can make more time to write and to just ease up on yourself, even just a little, please, for the love of fluffy kittens, do it. Your body and mind will thank you and you’ll probably become all the more productive for it in the end.
If you’d like to talk to me about how to make more time for writing or anything else, I’m offering FREE one hour coaching ‘Writing Blue Sky’ sessions for a limited time – all you have to do is pinky-swear to give me a short testimonial afterwards (I’ll even give you some questions to make it easier to write). You can book here! (You won’t see this on my website as it’s meant just for my community!)
Now go and DON’T do the dishes until twenty minutes time after you’ve scribbled a bit, you writing rebel, you! Take the skill that all writers have in terms of procrastinating and apply it to something else instead!