I have a problem: I don’t know how to say No. As a result, I bury myself in obligations I can never fulfill. I’m sure this has a negative effect on a lot of my relationships, but the most important relationship it’s hurting is the one I have with myself.
When I quit my job a year ago to become an independent consultant, one of the fantasies that lie ahead was a wide open, endlessly flexible schedule. I truly believed my days would consist of parks and naps, with a little bit of work on the side.
Now I’m forced to face facts: my schedule is a nightmare and if I don’t do something to fix it soon, I’ll be burned out before I reach year two.
Tony Bacigalupo, founder and mayor of the Manhattan co-working space New Work City, has listened to me whine about this a million times. He, Greg Palmer, Mark Burstiner and I finally sat down today for a group therapy session. We all feel like time is slipping through our fingers, and the lack of structure in our lives is a big contributing factor.
But complaining doesn’t make your problems go away. We need a strategy and construct to improve our productivity and restore our sanity.
Today we are starting a new initiative called CoStructure. We aren’t quite sure what it’s going to be yet, but we have some basic principles in mind:
- We are all accountable for each other’s success
- Productivity doesn’t just happen; we must set aside time for it and stick to it
- Canceling on yourself is a lot easier than canceling on someone else
- Not all routines are bad; structure allows you to do what you need to do when you need to do it
- Nothing is still something, and we all need to make time for nothing
This is just the beginning of our thinking, but one thing is clear: we all need a support system. Being independent doesn’t mean you have to be alone.
Stay tuned to our CoStructure blog on Posterous for further developments.