How I Get So Divinely Much Done

How I Get So Divinely Much Done

A statue of a multi-armed god obviously skilled at getting a lot done, photographed from below and backlit with a nearly cloudless deep blue sky, halo of pink and bright sun shining between two arms and diverse objects in all the arms. The statue is on Koh Samui island, in Thailand.

How I get so divinely much done? I feel like the statue of this divine being on Koh Samui island in Thailand accomplishing many diverse things with centered peace. Here is what I know about how I do this. Image: Kit Suman.


How I Get So Divinely Much Done

I am at the cusp of some new deep change. I have a lot of time I’m trying to figure out how to use. And I’m succeeding in not using it up but sometimes just sitting and letting it speak to me. This post explains how I get so divinely much done that occasionally it scares me but always it inspires me to think bigger, act better, do more continue to have more and more time, and sleep a lot.

How I Do It…

I work for myself, and charge appropriately to my wisdom and efficacy. So I have more flexibility and money than some folks. On the other hand, I have the same amount of time. I am super-clear on what I do with my mind and my time (and what I don’t). I coach and consult to numerous clients every week (whom I call “soul-colleagues”). I am present to my partner: daily, we exercise and meditate, eat two meals I make from scratch, and hike 1/4-mile to the mailbox and back up the mountain; weekly, we do two movie nights (with popcorn and wine) and one date night. I Duolingo five languages a day (Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Dutch, Turkish), read one big book a week, take two days a week offline, using them in part to complete two books of my own. (Here is one of them.)

I plan our meals to the last leftover, keep us in homemade, gluten- and dairy-free dessert,  volunteer for my library, make reparations, wash our floors twice a week, research what’s currently fascinating me (Spinoza), track and maintain our food, household supplies, my income/expenses, and the interplay of the clouds and mountains. I promote RAISING CLARITY and my professional editing practice by creating new short pieces like this one, a newsletter a week, and social media posts twice a week here and here, plus videos. (I deplore the term “content,” sounds like I’m creating cellulose.) I exchange coaching with Mike and with Tony regularly to get and give support; participate in a monthly Zoom book group; correspond in-depth with subscribers, soul-colleagues and friends.

I trust myself. I have learned what works to save time, and what doesn’t. I have learned how to use my innate mammalian nature to collaborate with my postmodern brain. That’s why I’m writing you this post. It’s a gift from the new me to you: once you trust yourself, and know yourself and how to organize your life, you, too, may start to wonder: what’s next? and have the time to answer the question.

And How I Don’t It

What I don’t do is as important as what I do. I am selective with my time and mind. A lot of things that matter to other people don’t matter to me. (But then things that matter to me won’t and shouldn’t matter to you. Again, what you choose not to do is as important as what you do.)  I don’t: raise children, farm, quilt, sew my own clothes, paint, raise animals, commute. People I love and admire do these things!

I also don’t shop,  watch TV, update my tech on command, hang out online or on the phone.

I no longer worry about a lot of things that once wore me out.


I’ve written a lot about self-organization, which I refer to as “structure,” and structuring. This is not simply organizing yourself. It is creating your own structure, time usage, money allocation. Yes, you are already doing these things whether you realize it or not. And yes, you are doing them even when you think others are making your time and money decisions for you. I promise, you have more of both than you realize and any thought you have to the contrary just abdicates the real power you have to make decisions.

So the way I have not yet written about in depth is how I get everything done that I want to get done:

I systematize.

How Do I Do It?

I systematize naturally. It’s become a reflex. That’s why I wanted to pause and describe what on Earth is giving me this much time that as much as I get done, I am feeling not just spacious but almost under-worked. Not bored but a little antsy sometimes: what do I do with all this time?

My answer about what to do with all this time will not be your answer, so I will not give you my answer.
What I’m up to instead is helping you figure out how to have enough time that you can ask the question for yourself.

So let me explain systematizing.

Systematizing = Creating Patterns

We are patttern-seeking creatures. More to my point, we are pattern-using creatures. Our minds like pattern. So do our bodies. They like regularity and routine, which I call “ritual.” This is also what I mean by our “innate mammalian nature.” We are evolved to find patterns in things as shortcuts to food, safety, ease. These are evolutionary; they can help keep us alive. They definitely help us live with greater efficiency and peace, and that makes space for joy.

Doing the same thing gets easier over time.

Let me repeat that and let it sink in: doing the same thing gets easier over time.

Now think about how often you change up your routine just so you can do something different. Or because some tech company changed a device or an online pathway you use all the time. Resist! Become a late adopter. Enhance your ability to follow the patterns you’ve set by not changing them every 10 minutes.

Create your own patterns.

Creating Systems and Patterns

Pattern-making is so valuable that I make it a priority to create my daily and weekly patterns (and mostly write down my monthly patterns). I will focus on how the pattern works, tweaking it carefully until it works great for me. I am amazed at things that used to take a long time and no longer do.

Two stories:

    • About 10 years ago, I stopped reading books by white people. At first, it was really a challenge to find books by people of color. I created long lists. I transferred the lists by hand every year in my datebook. I tracked the books I read. I wasn’t very good at it. (And the publishing industry was a lot less representative than it is now.) But now? It’s a snap. I let myself be guided by one book to more books; I have a habit of looking up books with titles that intrigue me by authors who have blurbed books I like. I keep a short list of new books I want to read, my library has most of them and some I buy. My pattern has matured over time, and matured me.
    • Recently, I had a huge number of cavities. Argh! (I spent my adult years not having any.) Along with getting them filled, I researched home care, and started taking and doing and not doing a number of different things to support my mouth, digestion, and teeth, as a whole-body system that would strengthen my teeth. At first, it was overwhelming! I persisted, knowing that it apparently takes three weeks to build a habit, and built one. Now? It’s a snap. I “hook” each part of my self-care into an existing part of my daily structure, I build it in, and it stays put. I do each thing without worrying I’ll forget. In fact, often I complete everything and have to go back and check myself because it is all so easy now. By creating habits, I created a pattern.

One Last Story

    • I like clean floors and I cannot lie. I really, really like them. But I was justifying a friend’s naming of me (“OCD”) and it was getting ridiculous. So I tweaked my pattern of washing our two stories of floors twice every week (plus washing the rugs twice a week) and created a new wrinkle in the pattern I gave a cute little name: “retouching.” Retouching our floors takes me very little time and I get quite clean floors while only wash-washing them once every two weeks, which is de rigueur for my sanity, which seems to start in my feet feeling yummy on our wood floors.

No Shills, No Frills

Notice what I am not doing: I am not trying to see you some costly program or shiny new device. I am trying to sell you on your own brain’s capacity to create patterns and put them to work for you. I am trying to show you how amazing your mind is and how natural this feels because it is. We are evolved to move in the world in this way.

You don’t need to use any of my systems or patterns, although I do describe in a variety of posts in this very blog how I structure my inbox (plus see this video), “chunk up” a big project without losing any pieces, sculpt time, use the seasonal energies to boost my work all year long like a lazy Earthling, structure my spiritual life, focus, and create foolproof to-do lists.

Three Essential Keys to Creating Your Own Patterns and Systems

1. Keep it as simple as you can while being effective. Awkward, weird, idiosyncratic, highly personal all work very well and make your systems and patterns memorable and easy to follow. This is vital.
2. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Remind yourself. Create reminders, mnemonic devices or little notes. Train yourself. This is how we mammals learn. It is OK! You are creating a habit. There is a special part of our brains (maybe more than one?) that does this stuff for a living. Habit energy is powerful; create habits that serve you! These are your patterns, your systems.
3. Do not be shy to tweak! Creating patterns that will make your life simple takes focus. Your friends and family may not understand, but they will sure notice when your life gets easier and you have more time. Don’t worry about explaining anything to them unless they are warmly curious about what you’re doing. This is for you. You are allowed to have your life work well. It’s arguably true that your life belongs to you, and is for you, and should work well for you.

I created a little video to help you create your own patterns and learn to attach new things to existing patterns. Here it is:



  • Danelle Kraszewski
    Posted at 02:39h, 25 February Reply

    Absolutely the best, most pertinent post I have read to date!! I appreciate the generous sharing of examples/stories and hard won experiences.

    • Beth
      Posted at 15:28h, 25 February Reply

      Danelle, I’m so glad, thank you so much! I am grateful you realize that the insights herein are hard won indeed. Please let me know how it goes using this post + any questions.

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