Friday, February 27, 2009

Routines to Savor Time

Both times I've been unemployed it took me three months to find a new job. Three months is both a short and long amount of time. Short enough to live low on unemployment, severance, and savings. Long enough to tackle a dream...that is, if you allow yourself to savor the time.

Savoring time may seem obvious if you've never been unemployed, but it can be a huge mental hurdle to jump. Thoughts run through your mind like a news ticker "Why aren't they calling...How long can I wait to make a payment...What am I doing with my life...Am I ever going to have a paycheck again...Need to write a cover letter...Why aren't they calling?!#$%"

That's why I'm an advocate for developing routines to savor time (RTST). First off, RTST are a much needed distraction from the voices in your head. Second, they introduce a sense of meaning and accomplishment back into your life. Third, they keep you in the present (away from the pain of the past and fear of the future).

When developing your RTST, consider what could improve your life overall. What have you dreamed about doing but always dismissed because you "don't have time"? That's no longer a valid excuse. You have TIME! And if you're going to be unemployed for 3+ months, what could you do with that time that would have a positive impact on your life...even when you start a new job?

My routines included: exercise 3x week; clean house 1x week; walk dog slowly w/ mug of coffee at 8:30am & watch everyone else cram into their cars to go to work 4x week; keep my daughter home from daycare 1x week and go to museums, parks, visit friends; write a poem everyday 7x week, for one month; see a matinee 1x week.

Here's your homework. Make a list of potential RTST. Don't censor yourself. Write the first things that come to mind. You can use the categories below to get started.
  • Creative (life long goals & aspirations)
  • Practical (cleaning, home repair...)
  • Fun (exercise, playdates, day trips, matinees...)
Once you have established a list, select your favorites and assign a weekly or daily "routine" and "goal" for each (example: write 500 words of the great american novel 1x per day; run 3 miles 4x per week). If you still don't think you've got enough "time" here's some inspiration...

Write a Novel in One Month
: The National Novel Writing Month website has tools & tips on how thousands of people have written a novel (50,000 words) in the space of one month.

Muscular Body in One Month: Read how Four Hour Work Week author Tim Ferriss went from skinny to muscular in four weeks (plus the pictures to prove it!)

Clean Your Entire Home in One Hour: Great article on Associated Content site with strategy for cleaning your entire house in one hour.


  1. Katie, you're awesome! I had no idea you had this blog until now. It's wonderful. Well done! Love, Bernadette

  2. You should be paid for this advise. Who the heck needs 'life coaches' (whatever they are) when I have friends like you!

  3. You ladies rock. Thanks for reading!

  4. I'm totally jumping on the RTST bandwagon with you -- you're an inspiration! And, btw, I love your blog and am passing out the address to people.

  5. Thanks Corey! The more RTST in the world, the better.