Scheduling and planning doesn’t come naturally to me. Likely not for all of my readers either.
If that’s you too…read on.
If you are a scheduling genius this might bore you but feel free to give us all some more tips.
This is what schedule phobic looks like for me.
- Craving flexibility in everything I do
- Living very much from my heart and my gut
- Doing what I feel like at any given opportunity
- Changing my mind if something doesn’t feel right
- Swapping between tasks in the middle of a task
- Needing each day to be different, not a carbon copy of the previous day
Yikes, I sound a bit flaky!
The downside of not scheduling things is that I often don’t get as much done as I’d like and I end up wallowing in feelings of failure.
Juggling a busy day job with a side hustle and some health challenges means scheduling has become a necessity. Simple living creative types still need to get shit done after all!
So, how do I make it work so I don’t resent it and don’t feel completely fenced in? I’m glad you asked!
Scheduling that works for flexible types
As I’ve said, I don’t love structure but I’m really reaping the benefits from it. I’m achieving more and I feel more in control, which really helps with my anxiety.
If you are a bit like me, here are some ideas that might work for you that I’ve been using successfully:
If I put Friday as “writing” all day in my calendar, I end up not writing much at all. It’s too broad.
If, however, I put a two hour block of ‘”writing” and then a two hour block of something different like “photo editing”, I get more done on each task.
Blocking out short time periods for different types of tasks feels less constrictive. I only have to commit myself to doing that particular task for a short period of time. If I end up going over that allotted time, then that is a bonus.
This practice also gives you the option to swap time blocks. If your blocks of times for tasks are of equal length you can mix them around. So, if I start on something and I’m just not feeling it, I do another task first then get onto that initial one later.
This technique is popular at the moment. The idea is, that it is more efficient if you do multiples of the same type of thing all at once. For example if I need to edit images in my photo library for a blog post. I’m better off editing images for the next few posts at the same time.
For the scheduling phobic, I recommend you set a limit on the batch tasking. Doing a whole day of a batch of the same task will create ants in your pants. Maybe try half a day instead, then swap to a batch of another activity.
Bite sized pieces
Chunk your tasks into little bits. Spend a few minutes working out what all the smaller steps are in completing a project. Jot them down and then work through them consecutively. Cuts down on the distractions and bumps up the achievement factor.
You can work through the bite sized pieces within your time blocks.
Before I tried this I would spend all day on something and it still wouldn’t be finished. Now, I love to tick the little check-boxes off on my deconstructed task list.
Try doing a smaller pared down version of a task. This works well if you are more time poor than usual or if the idea of a task has you feeling overwhelmed.
Ask yourself if the project needs to be that complex or large? This is where the perfectionism steps in to thwart your efforts. You don’t have to overcook something. A scaled down version is most likely fine unless it’s something life threatening!
As someone relatively new to scheduling I’m keen to know what you have tried. Share your tips in the comments.
From my heart to yours,