Protected time

Published by Lori Pickert on July 21, 2012 at 01:15 PM

motyl's lupou - creative commons - martin vidner

More thoughts on dedicated time for project work

[T]here’s some really good research coming out of Harvard that shows that people whose job is to somehow add value, to be creative or to produce, need a cocoon of time for sustained effort where they are going to get something done. … I structure my day so I have protected time. — Daniel Goleman

Not only does dedicated time support the work children already want to do, it makes that work more likely to happen.


Comment by jacinda on July 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM

I love the term "protected time." I have found that this "protected time" helps to build habit - a habit of getting on with the things you want done. Thanks for the link.

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 21, 2012 at 03:39 PM

i love it, too. because that’s really what it is — time you’re setting aside and reserving for your child to do something they *want* to do — time you’re protecting so that it doesn’t get lost or eaten up by distractions and busyness. and YES — building a habit of prioritizing your own self-chosen work! adults struggle with this — how much better to grow up with a solid habit of spending time each day working on the things that are most important to you!

Comment by dawn on July 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM

oooh, i like the sound of that term! my daughter (aged 9, homeschooled) has lamented of late that she does not feel like she has enough sustained time to work on her writing - she sits down to get going and gets frustrated when she is pulled away to do another scheduled activity. i have been trying to set aside multiple hour blocks of time so she can start and stop as she feels she needs to within that time, with me available as a sounding board for ideas or questions, and she's appreciated that.

i'm finding more and more nuggets of wisdom as i explore your blog - thank you, and keep it coming!

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM

thank you, dawn! :)

yes, it’s so good to limit transitions as much as possible. there’s nothing so frustrating as seeing your child involved and engaged and having to tear them away to do something else. it’s wonderful that your daughter can recognize and articulate her frustration — and that you can help her come up with a solution.

Comment by Zane on July 21, 2012 at 06:10 PM

I love this term too. And I love how simple you've kept this post. Because it really is so simple and so very important: protect that creative time. Thank you for the reminder!

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM

thank you! :)

Comment by dawn suzette on July 21, 2012 at 08:22 PM

What a great name for it... love the idea of protected time. We often think of protecting our children in some way or another but to protect their time, our time with them, what an awesome concept.
That podcast was so insightful. The idea that we get a little hit when we get an e-mail is spot on. I have been thinking about it more and more and just need to put real effort toward keeping the computer off during segments of the day to in fact "protect" that time.
Thanks Lori!

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

i read an article recently that talked about the same thing — how we get a little endorphin rush when we get that distraction, that e-mail ping, that instant message ... so it’s especially hard to break ourselves of the distraction habit.

i’m going to keep this phrase (“protected time”) because it’s just too perfect!

Comment by kort on July 18, 2013 at 01:26 PM


a cocoon of time.

such possibility born in that phrase.

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 18, 2013 at 02:17 PM

i just read an article today that quoted the new 99u book as saying “creative time first, then reactive time” (that’s a paraphrase). making a safe pocket of time to do your real work before the world rushes in…

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