Freedom! Finding Peace with My Work Schedule

(c) istockphoto, Anna Bryukhanova, 2007

After weeks of overworking and pushing myself too hard, I’m finally feeling good about my schedule again. I couldn’t sustain the effort and time I was spending on writing, writing-related activities, my other work, family obligations, and the activities of life in general. Every day of one week I did nothing but work from the moment I woke up until bed at 2 am. It was crazy.

I’m still working at least 10 or 12 hours a day, but I’ve been taking some much-needed time off in the evenings. And I have organized my office, my task list system, and how I manage my emails. I’m even getting caught up on a few things as time allows but not freaking over every little thing that doesn’t get done.

I’ve returned to a schedule that works for me. I write or edit in the morning. Then in the afternoons and early evenings I take care of emails, any writing-related business stuff, my freelance work, and try to do at least a bit of social networking or promotion-type activities. I’m really working hard to cut off for the night with some time before bed to spend with my sweetie (a priority for me this year), to read more, and to just have some non-writing fun.

It’s very freeing to find a schedule and organization system that fits me and how I work. Even though I’m still doing as much (and maybe more), I’m squeezing it into smaller amounts of time. I’ve found a tranquil acceptance of my schedule, my writing process, and how much I can reasonably produce in a year. I’m still a slow writer (or I should say re-writer), but I’m picking up the pace as I go.

I’m sure there will always be some level of stress (this is a tough business, after all), but having a more reasonable schedule as often as I can will help fuel the fire when I need it most.

And ultimately, my worst day writing is better than my best day at the old corporate job. There’s nothing I’d rather spend my time doing.

Thanks for listening,