Life,  Sundry Posts,  Writing,  Writing Habits

What Can You Do With ’30 minutes of…’?

Ripples of doing '30 minutes of...'

Thoughts on what I can do in ’30 minutes of…’.

So one of my favorite Instagrammers (@farmhousevernacular) has a thing called ’30 minutes of house’. Originally this was created by her husband as a New Year’s resolution. But it is something that served him well since.

They have an old house (approximately 1906ish) that needs a lot of work. Actually their house needs just as much work as mine did – and they’ve planned it better. My husband and I have simply done it haphazardly while they have been systematic about their renovation.

It probably helps that they are both engineers.

Anyway, this idea of 30 minutes of house has me thinking. 

I’ve struggled in the past several years with my writing and blog. The goal of me moving home to work was that I would have time to write. 

That hasn’t happened. Not sure why.

Actually that isn’t true. I haven’t put my writing first the way I used to. 

There were so many excuses. I still think I am coming up with more.

In the beginning of my journey to work from home, I was working both my 40-hour-week job and I was adding approximately 20-30 on top of that. I was building a caseload simply because I couldn’t quit without that. 

I was becoming increasingly stressed with my job and balancing the two was nearly impossible in the long run. 

I’m not sure how people work 80 hour weeks for months on end. There is simply no time for life outside of the work. And, something always has to give.

As luck would have it (along with lots of hard work), several things slid into place and I only had to keep this schedule up for about 4ish months. Moving away from a consistent position within an agency to working for myself, from my house, was a huge change and wasn’t without its uneasiness.

My move to working from home happened just before the Christmas season and I gave myself the break of the holidays to focus on other things.

But, as everyone knows, life happens. Two things happened during that time – one of my daughters became engaged and the other discovered she was pregnant. Two things that I am so grateful for having the flexibility of being at home to deal with. 

My daughter’s wedding was in April and, for the other, the baby was due in July. It was all hands on deck for both of those. Or at least for the part that I played in both of those scenarios. 

The trifecta of these three events, changing my work, wedding and baby, managed to take up all of my available brain power for so many months on that year. And there was no room for writing.

What I managed to accomplish that year!

I spent much of this year, and what little brain power I had leftover, working on the structure of my blog. The intention was to work on my creative life and I so wanted to make that a priority.

The attempt was half-hearted at best.

During July, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of 20,000 words.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. My focus was to create content for my blog with those words and I just couldn’t focus.

After a rally during the fall and the usual events, I managed to “win” at NaNoWriMo by working on the third draft of my novel. However, it still isn’t done.

Throughout this time, I posted on my blog here and there. Nothing sustainable or consistent – and that is the goal of blogs. 

Fast forward to today. We are now in July again. No, I am not participating in Camp NaNoWriMo though I admire anyone who is.

I am still not consistent with blogging. And, I want to be.

So many things have happened this year. I often wonder what we will call this year. Significant times often have their own names. As we are living through some of the most difficult experiences, it is difficult to see where things are going. 

None of this has helped my writing.

Enter ’30 Minutes of Blog’. Or is that ’30 minutes of a Creative Life’?

Well, lets explain what I mean by ’30 Minutes of…” 

Paige from @farmhousevernacular talks about “30 minutes of house.” During the explanation, she talked about how exhausting it is to renovate a house. As I mentioned previously, she and her husband, Brandon @mr.farmhousevernacular, are both engineers and they have their house renovation planned out well. In detail. Minute detail. Good for them.

One of the issues with this kind of plan, is that it is exhausting. And there are days where you want nothing more than to lose yourself on YouTube or binge watch some series on Netflix. But these things do not get you a finished house.

What does? According to Page, and Brandon, it is ’30 minutes of house’. What this means is on those days where you are so exhausted, the only goal is to do something for 30 minutes toward whatever project you are working on.

The cool thing about the is that if it is one of those days where you do the 30 minutes and you are still just completely exhausted, your done. Yay! You’ve reached your goal. However, often what will happen is that you do your 30 minutes and you find a bit of extra momentum and end up working for a bit more time.

Whatever goal you are working on gets accomplished in these segments interspersed with days where you have the energy to just get things done.

My thoughts on the application of “30 minutes of…”

The project I am working on is my blog. Yes, there are other things like my novel and a new project that focus on parts of my life story but for now, my focus is on building up my blog.

So if I apply Paige and Brandon’s rule, I will spend at least 30 minutes each day working on my blog. 

Truthfully, if I am struggling on my blog and I spend 30 minutes of writing on either of my other projects, I will be happy.

The 30 minutes is a minimum. That is the thing to keep in mind. 

Often the most difficult thing is to get started, and once you begin, often, the thing begins to take on a life of it’s own. I am counting on this.

So what activities do I anticipate during my ’30 minutes of blog’? Well, here is the list I’ve come up with so far:

  • Creating content
  • Editorial calendar
  • Research
  • Reading
  • Learning/education
  • Brainstorming
  • Blog development

Actually each of these things can last for more than 30 minutes, which is the idea. If I only get the 30 minutes done, so be it. I’ve accomplished my goal for the day and I am that much closer to my “big” goal. If, however, I end up spending more time then that can only be for the good.

I’ve been reading about mini habits and willpower. I am also working on procrastination issues and resistance. And, you will most likely hear about these things in later posts. I hope you stay tuned.

Please let me know how you keep yourself on track with any goals you have. I am finding it helpful to share ideas, even if I do it totally different, it still gets the creative juices going. Perhaps it will work for you.

Until next time, Angela

P.S. Here is my latest mask from Hyperfavor.

Mask with positive messages!

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  • Nancy Low

    I have used a ‘just 15 minutes of housework’ for years. 15 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but once you’ve started the dishes or started to sort laundry chances are high you may finish the task beyond the time. If not, well it’s started anyway.

    Nice blog piece, I wish you well with the idea.