Things That are Working

September 7, 2023

I don’t remember when I last wrote about feeling overwhelmed on my work-from-home days, but I feel like I am *finally* finding my rhythm!

okay I was kind of embarrassed to share this because how indulgent is a 3 pm massage? (This is not a typical Thursday but my muscles are really crying out for it at the higher mileage I am running and I relented)

I haven’t done anything surprising – mostly I have just kind of calmed myself down + followed my own tactics! But here are a few things that have helped:

1- I accept that I can only do a finite amount each day (thank you, Oliver Burkeman!), and that the finite amount is not 12 hours of deep work, either. I pull from my weekly list and choose accordingly based on what is most time-sensitive and feels relevant.

2- I try not to schedule more than 3-4 hours of really intense work. For me, intense work = recording a podcast, interviewing a guest, being interviewed, teaching a course, writing a newsletter. Less intense = writing a blog post, brainstorming outlines for future workbooks/programs, responding to email.

3- I embrace the weekend as (limited) pop-up valve. Sometimes I will have something I still need to do outside of my Tues/Thurs work days, especially if I gave some work time up to do something with/for a kid (doctor’s appt, field trip, etc). I’m very unlikely to stay up late to do anything, nor should I because my brain shuts off at around 8 pm every night. But bumping a podcast episode (a ~2 hr or less endeavor, generally) to the weekend is not a disaster. I’d prefer not to have to work every weekend but — sometimes a pop-off valve does help. I’m okay with that given the flexibility I currently enjoy.

4- I create a loose timeline of each day during my 5 AM pre-run planning session. I do not do strict time blocking but I can tentatively slot tasks into certain times.

5- I avoid checking for inputs during blocks of deeper work. If I’m trying to complete a workbook (as I did this morning!), I avoid my email and keep my phone out of sight. Not always easy to do but with practice I’ve gotten much better at restraining myself.

6- I have done more large-scale planning around the podcasts. Instead of just looking at what is due in a week, I really try to have a plan for the month, including when I will record. This really helps! I *never* “content plan” my writing here, and I probably never will – just takes away the fun/magic/spontaneity for me! But for podcasting – especially when there are sponsors involved so I really do have to deliver – it makes sense.

Anyway, it has taken a long time but things are starting to feel more rhythmic, familiar, and under control but still exciting.

BLPA Round 3 is officially full! I’m very excited for this round (I see some familiar names and know it will be a dynamic + fun group). I do not plan on offering this course until next fall BUT I have some other really exciting things in the works, so please stay tuned — here, or if you always want first access, via the newsletter.

(BLP LIVE registration is still open for another ~2-3 weeks! I just finished the workbook and am so excited for these pre-2024 planning sessions – they are IN DEPTH and I am here for it . . .um, literally.)


  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns September 7, 2023 at 8:33 pm

    I so wish I could come to BLPA live! I couldn’t swing it with my other girls trip in august but would love to come if you offer it again next year! A workbook sounds soooo appealing to this nerd.

    I am glad you are finding your rhythm on your home days. I was thinking you should change your BOBW intro because now you could say you are an entrepreneur instead of just a blogger on the side!

    I am ready to find a rhythm to my days. I have been so busy at work and now I have a new hire – who seems awesome so far! But that’s making me extra busy. But I know it’s an investment so I won’t feel so overwhelmed in the future!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 8, 2023 at 3:56 pm

      aww!! Someday! or maybe I’ll see you in MN at a race sometime.

  • Reply Coree September 8, 2023 at 6:15 am

    I’ve had to add some weekend working as well, which I don’t love, but if it helps me feel slightly less stressed during the week, it’s probably worth it. I need to just cross as many little things off my to do list today and this weekend, in a clearing of the decks.

    My challenge this month is to figure out how to use my train/bus time effectively.

  • Reply Gwinne September 8, 2023 at 7:25 am

    Tiny Boy, 11, will be starting an activity that goes 9 to 1 on Saturday, without long transport.. will be a real gift of time….I’ll probably do 2 hr work block, a walk or trip to the gym, and possibly an errand. My schedule has more hard landscape than it ever has during the week and I need to find time to work without sacrificing sleep, so…

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