How often have you felt guilty about how you were spending your time? I think we all have those moments. But when you start feeling that way most of the time, you should start thinking about why you feel guilty and what you can do about that.
A recent dream about going back to my alma mater got me thinking. For my undergraduate degree, I studied sciences with a sprinkling of liberal arts courses, but my dream had me returning to study for a degree in creative writing. Talk about a wake-up call! So what was my dreaming self trying to tell my waking self?
It only took a few moments to recognize that frustration fueled this dream. My mind had put me back in college because there not only could I write without guilt, but I would be required to write.
Frustration wastes time and energy. Can you afford that? I can’t. So I need to figure out how to stop feeling guilty if I do my creative writing and low-paying freelance work, or frustrated when I spend time doing non-writing chores for my attorney husband.
One strategy I’ve used with some success before: setting schedules. If I know that a specific block of time “belongs” to me, I need feel no guilt for using that time to write what I want to write, or read and edit on spec. At the same time, the block I dedicate to working on GrowthLaw projects needn’t frustrate me because I know how much time I’m giving to these projects.
When setting up your own daily, weekly or monthly schedule, be careful to program in enough time for the running costs of life: household upkeep like cooking and cleaning, or errands such as transporting children or spouse to/from school/work. If you assign more time than you can actually manage for work-time-plus-me-time, you’ll run a deficit in the life tasks and find yourself feeling just as guilty as you do now.