Finding Your 'Golden Minutes' [Mapping Your Time and Energy]

August 25, 2020

Have you ever not started a project because you were sure that it was going to take longer than the time you had available?

Often, my perception of the activity is that it's going to take a long time - and because it's going to take a long time, I don't even want to start. I don't want to dedicate the amount of time I think it's going to take.

Can you relate?

I'm not fond of doing the dishes. It's probably my least favorite household chore because it seems like you just get the kitchen clean, and there are more dishes!

One day, I decided that I wanted to know if it really took forever, or if it just felt that way. It was amazing how much I got done in 15 minutes! So, I started timing other tasks that I thought took a long time. And, they all took way less time than I imagined.

When it comes to writing, the same thing is true. When you break the writing process down into individual tasks, all of a sudden, you have time.

You don't need to go through the whole process in one day - you shouldn't. You'll be more productive if you spread it over a few days. Your brain will have a chance to mull over your ideas while you sleep. You'll look at life differently and perhaps come up with some new ideas just because your focus has shifted.

As we go into the fall when new activities are starting, take some time to map your time and energy. See where you have time, then time your activities so you can fit them into the right spot in your schedule.

Here's How to Find the Time to Do Your Best Work

(Time and Energy Mapping)

Step 1. Map your time.

This is different from scheduling and planning. It's more like an audit. Where are you spending your time? What is actually happening in your life right now?

You'll most likely be surprised at where some of your time is slipping away, and see why some of the time you think you should have is slipping through your fingers every day.

Each day for a week, jot down what you actually did and how long it took you to do it. Not what you planned to do - what you actually did.

Step 2. Map your Energy

Mapping your energy takes a bit more thinking because we don't usually think about energy levels unless we're tired! When was the last time you noticed that you were energetic?

As you go through your week, jot down your energy level for each of the activities you included in your time audit.

Step 3. Analyze

Look at your time and energy audits side by side. Which activities on the time audit have energy levels that matched the actual energy requirement for the activity? Highlight those activities - you'll want to keep them.

Rearrange the remaining activities to match your energy levels better.

Did your rearranging leave any open spots in your schedule?

Do you need to cut some activities because your time and energy needs don't match?

Step 4. Schedule

Based on your analysis, look for the best fit for writing each day (or at least 3-4 days/week). Writing involves some creative brainpower. Try to sandwich it between two activities that require less brainpower, or between a completely unrelated subject and a physical activity - for example, between studying math and doing physical work.

Did you find the hidden time in your schedule? Pockets of time that opened up by swapping activities - primarily because you now have the energy to do something in an available time-slot.

I like to call them "golden minutes - the minutes where you swap low energy activities into low-energy times and move those high brain activities to your high energy times and watch your happiness and productivity soar.

Find your 'golden minutes' and jumpstart your writing over the next 7 days.

I've created a 7-Day Writing Jumpstart Kit™ just for you! It's a FREE step-by-step guide with worksheets to help you start improving your writing this week.

Click on the link below to get your 7-Day Writing Jumpstart Kit™ and work on it during those 'golden minutes' you found.