When I first decided to join in The 100 Day Project, the online community committed to creating and sharing work, the first fear that came up was the lack of time. Kids, work, errands, the long list of things to do...I just wasn't sure if it could be done. When you want to make something original, sooner or later you will run into Resistance. Resistance as defined by Steven Pressfield in his classic book The War of Art, is the universal force that acts against human creativity.
Resistance showed up for me as a fear of lack of time.
After awhile, I remembered something I had written in my journal. When my daughter was three months old I decided to cut back my full time work schedule to part time. I figured that I would always have my career. By staying part time I would avoid large gaps in my employment history. But once my time was spent...it was gone.
The truth is the only thing we really have is time. Until we don't anymore.
I knew I needed help. It came in a very unexpected way. It came in the form of an Excel spreadsheet.
For seven days, I set my phone to go off every two hours, after the timer I would record my activity. The results changed everything.
With this data I saw patterns. I saw ways that I could batch tasks together. Times when I could take one hour a week to run errands after I dropped the kids off at school or after work instead of two or three hours. I began to understand that every time I shifted gears between activities, I lost productivity. So I became committed to organizing my time more effectively.
The fact that I was recording my daily activities made me more aware and present in my day.
With this new information, I knew that no matter what, I could find 20 minutes each day to participate in The 100 Day Project. I also gave myself an out: If after 20 minutes I felt done for the day, that would be fine. If I wanted to continue after 20 minutes, even better. This kept me accountable, but also made my brain feel like it had a choice. This prevented me from feeling overwhelmed.
How will I feel after 20 days? After 60? After 80? I'm not sure. You'll have to tune in and find out. I can say, after almost a week in, the word that comes to mind is: Empowered.