This is a strategy I’ve found incredibly helpful in terms of finding blocks of time in which to get lost in the flow of things that I really care about.
To put it simply, I have “compressed” days in which I fill basically every waking second with what I call “life management”–the tasks that aren’t really very fun but are necessary for professional employment and day-to-day life. Laundry. Dishes. Work. Paying bills. Cleaning. All of those kinds of endless things.
The “uncompressed” days serve as an incredible motivator to get me through my “compressed” days. I might be tempted to just kick back for a while and not do much of anything in the evening on a “compressed” day, but if I do that, I’m directly sacrificing time that I’d set aside for the big hike this weekend or for a Sunday afternoon curled up and getting lost in a book.
Rather than spending some time each day “unwinding”—which is time basically spent not really doing anything—I try to pack some days so full of little tasks that I basically don’t “stop” for the entire day.