Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

The Answer To: “Where Do You Get The TIME?!?!”

In: Productive Mother

Me: I’m writing a book!
People: Where do you get the TIME?
Me: Every morning!
Me: It's in my schedule. Every morning, from 5am to 8am.
People: But I could never cooooommmmmiiiiiittttttt to thaaaaatttttttt.
Me: So what do you do when you have a client that needs something, or your boss?
People: I do it on their time.
Me: So do I.
People: Huh?
Me: I AM the client.

This is a conversation that happens at least once a day.

Someone wants to know where I find the time to be writing a book, or to go running, or to write for the blog as often as I do…while still running a business, keeping up with client work, and doing things like remembering people's birthdays. (Just kidding, I don't remember anyone's birthday.)

It seems that most people view these items as “bonus activities”—things you only do “when you have the time.” But I discovered a long time ago, if you wait for that unicorn of a date? The stuff you want to do with your life will become a unicorn, too. And we all know how dependable unicorns fucking are.

If you’re not actively working on the most important things in the world to you, what’s the point of your work at all?

You know I’m all about priorities.

That said, sometimes it’s easier said than done. (Kind of like when you tell yourself you’re only going to have one glass of wine. How cute!)

But perhaps the biggest reason why I'm able to get these kinds of things done, no matter what else is going on, is because I don't view these things as “things I'll try to get around to,” or “things I'll try to fit in,” or “things I secretly resent because I can never seem to do them ever ever ever EVER, SO HELP ME WINE BOTTLE,” but instead, designate them as non-negotiable things that must be done—come hell or high water—as if they were client deliverables.

In other words, I treat myself as my biggest client—so much so, that I even track all of my time spent on internal projects like book writing. (Some people even go as far as to pay themselves an hourly rate. That’s not something I do, since I have myself on salary, but it might help you if you need an extra boost in motivation!)

Bottom line: That old phrase, “what gets measured, gets done,” might not just be one big boring, fat cliché, after all.

Try it out.

Put your biggest project on your deliverable list, and schedule (and log) time for it like you would any other paid project. I think you’ll find that not only do you actually get meaningful work done (it’s a miracle!), you also feel way better about yourself in an incredibly satisfying way.

By the way, my favorite all-time tool to use for this (not an affiliate link–I just love them): Freckle Time Tracking. (And not just because they’re out of my very own Philly, though the brotherly love is absolutely radiating off of these words, my friend.)


This app is so fun to use that I actually WANT to track my time. I loveeeeee the Mac app in particular. It’s stupid easy to use, and even lets you “tag time” with a hashtag, so you can get a nice pulse of where you’re spending the majority of your billable hours. You can even turn your time into invoices later, if you want. Very handy, indeed.

Bonus: You’ll feel all sorts of smug seeing how many hours you log working toward the stuff that matters each week–instead of shoving it under the carpet and hope it magically gets done. Somehow. Someday. Sometime.

And you know what? Knowing that you’re doing something—anything—to nudge that needle forward? That’s power.

Because sometimes, in a world that's so unpredictable, having a little bit of power over what you do get done?

Makes up for the rest you never will.


P.S. Curious how I'm writing my book?
Been using this book proposal resource for lots of sharp, snappy step-by-step wisdom.

Jan 3


Feel Guilty Anytime You’re Not “Being Productive”?

Jan 3, 2014

I wrote today’s tip earlier today about copywriting. It was pretty fucking good, actually. I might have even made a joke about ham. But then I stalled. I hated the tip. The tip was useful, for sure. The tip was original, most definitely. And the tip was something that some people might have even printed […]

In: Productive Mother


May 30


How to Be the Most Productive Motherfauxer in the Room

May 30, 2017

When I first started working for myself, I was like: OH HEY I HAVE ALL THESE HOURS! LOOK AT THEM IN ALL THEIR GLOWY DELIGHT! If the idea was to “be booked,” then great—I would be motherfauxing booked. (Get it? It’s the faux fuck, and it’s coming to a screen near you.) The surprise, of […]

In: Productive Mother


Mar 11


You’re always going to have fifty million things to do—PLUS that asshole’s bar mitzvah.

Mar 11, 2015

There’s a lot of pressure these days to be perfect. (Says the girl carrying thirty extra pounds and a dysfunctional pouty face.) As someone who used to be very all-or-nothing, over the years I’ve had to make some major peace with the fact that all-or-nothing is a gigantic, sweaty faced fool’s errand. :: How many times have you thought about […]

In: Productive Mother


Jul 31


Be Selective With Your Energy. In Fact, Be Downright Arrogant.

Jul 31, 2012

I’ve stopped checking my emails every day. Before that, I shut down my Behind Closed Doors program. And this past Saturday night out with the girls? I drank…sparkling water. Yet, I can confidently confirm that I am not pregnant, suicidal, dying of cancer (at the moment, anyway) or just having such great sex that I […]

In: Productive Mother


Aug 7


The Answer To: “Where Do You Get The TIME?!?!”

Aug 7, 2015

Me: I’m writing a book! People: Where do you get the TIME? Me: Every morning! People: WHERE DO YOU GET THE TIIIIIMMEEEEEEE?! Me: It’s in my schedule. Every morning, from 5am to 8am. People: But I could never cooooommmmmiiiiiittttttt to thaaaaatttttttt. Me: So what do you do when you have a client that needs something, […]

In: Productive Mother


Jul 31


The 140 Character Email: An Experiment in Sanity

Jul 31, 2015

You know the email. The one you’re dreading responding to—not because of what it says, but because the second you open it, all you see is A GIANT, LOOMING TSUNAMI OF TEXT lurching at your face as if the sender had taken the entire Sunday edition of The New York Times, reformatted it into one […]

In: Productive Mother


I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

Enter your email address and I’ll send you my advice column every week sharing everything I’ve learned—and so much more.

But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

Privacy Policy Info Here