I was having a conversation with an acquaintance recently who was convinced that she had a book that was going to change the world. It was a literary masterpiece and was going to turn the publishing industry on it’s ear.

The only problem? She hadn’t written it yet.

You see, she was a stay at home mom (although her kids are in school from 8 – 3 from September through May,) and she is just so busy.

  • She volunteers as a room mom.
  • She is on the PTA.
  • She is on the steering team of her MOMs group.
  • All three of her kids are involved in sports.
  • Two of her kids are involved in a theater group.
  • Her entire family is involved in various church activities.

So the life-changing book is going to have to wait until she has more time.

I hear this almost anytime someone asks me, “So, what do you do for a living?”

Everyone wants to write a book, but nobody has the time.

What I want to tell people who are convinced that they must write a book is that they are never going to see that happen unless they stop working for other people and start working for themselves.

  1. Don’t Answer Your E-mail (or at least some of them.) Just because someone sends you a piece of e-mail doesn’t mean you need to read it. When I subscribe to a newsletter or an email group, I don’t use my main e-mail address. I have a free yahoo account for all those things I am interested in reading, but, if the week is busy, I don’t feel bad if I just delete the whole list of e-mails. None of them are waiting for a personal response from me. This saves me time in sorting through my own e-mail box of things I have to respond to. (And hey, If you ever want to change the address of where you receive my e-mail newsletter, or even if you want to -gasp- stop receiving my emails, there is a link at the bottom of each one that tells you how to do that.
    If you receive a lot of the same kind of e-mail, you may want to have a form letter. When people ask me how to become a speaker or author, I have a standard e-mail I send – not because I don’t care about the person, but because if I gave a personal answer to each and every one, I would never respond to anyone.
  2. Agree in Advance on What You Say Yes to My husband and I talk an awful lot about what we will say yes to when it comes to time spent outside of pursuing our own goals. Want to take me to coffee to talk about marketing your book? Meet me at Starbucks. Need me to bring you a meal because you broke your ankle? I’m your girl. Want me to help you move? Dude – I’m 43 years old. Be a grown up and hire a mover. Make sure you have someone to hold you accountable so you don’t say yes, when what you really mean is, “I don’t want to, but I don’t want to hurt you feelings by telling you no.” If you can say, “My husband (mom, friend, accountability partner, boss,) and I agreed I wouldn’t say yes to anything that wasn’t (part of my job description, related to photography, discussed in advance).
  3. When Your Kids Say Yes, that means You Say Yes You are not a bad parent if you kids are not signed up for every activity that the school, community center, church offers. Just say no.

Question for You: have you done anything recently to create time for yourself and your goals?


Kathi Lipp is the author of 17 books including Overwhelmed, Clutter Free, The Get Yourself Organized Project, The Husband Project, Happy Habits for Every Couple, and I Need Some Help Here – Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan. She is the host of Clutter Free Academy the Podcast! with Kathi Lipp and speaks at conferences across the US. Kathi is published with Revell Publishers and Harvest House Publishers.

She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.

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