Google famously encourages employees to spend 20% of their time, one full day a week, not on projects assigned to them — but on projects that interest them.
This 20% philosophy has led to innovations like Gmail, Google News, and Google Cardboard — projects that might never have been greenlighted if a “Googler” hadn’t felt inspired, and supported, to create them in the first place.
Which leads me to ask a question: when was the last time you gave yourself some time, space, room to get inspired and create?
If you can’t remember the last time, it’s ok — I couldn’t either.
So what would happen if you gave yourself some 20%-time?
Let’s call it one 8-ish hour a week, give or take — but a good, solid, expansive-feeling chunk of time.
What could happen in that one day?
Well for one, you could definitely wrap your head around your book idea. If you’ve been circling around it and it hasn’t yet shown itself clearly — a full day a week, boom. Idea will become clear.
If your book idea is super clear already, but it’s been hanging out on the back burner… can you just imagine the progress you could make if you gave it one day a week? You could flesh out your concept, develop your table of contents, write a few sample chapters, research how you want to publish your book.
Or… maybe you’re trying to decide what’s next for you and this book of yours and what you really need is some time to dig into it with someone else.
You could give yourself a full day to gain clarity by booking yourself a VIP Day.
But at the end of the day (literally, in this case), what you are really giving yourself here is a gift. You are giving yourself a gift of time and space to find focus, room for inspiration to come, and by giving yourself 8 whole hours (instead of the piddly 1 or 2 you usually squeeze in here and there), you’re also taking the pressure to perform in an instant.
With 8 whole hours on your calendar, you know that the day is coming, so you can save up all those ideas you have every day and in the middle of the night — in a note on your phone or in Notion or on post-its or wherever you save your ideas — and they’ll be there for you on your 20% day.
You could also find a pal to 20% with. (Who’s in for a 20%-time co-working day???)
So while I’m putting this idea out there for all my aspiring author friends, this is truly an idea for anyone who wants to create, think, and focus again. I know I sure want that. (Did I mention that on 20%-time we don’t multi-task, and social media is only used intentionally….we also might take ourselves out for a nice outdoor lunch or walk.)
Summer is just around the corner. Join me in making 20%-time for creating, thinking, and finding inspiration where inspiration finds us a thing. I’m committing to it every other Friday all summer long, starting in June. Who’s in?
P.S. And if you want to snag a VIP Day to get rolling on your book proposal in 2021, I’ll be offering just 3 spots this summer — one each in June, July, and August, and that is the only way to work 1:1 with me until January 2022.