I’ve written about scheduling before and ended up scaring myself (and perhaps you?) into complete avoidance. I am finding my way back with Rachel’s help. I think you can too!
A couple of months ago, I made a commitment to my business coach to take on a daily meditation practice. I was struggling to get everything done, feeling stressed and noticing that destructive behaviours over which I’d gained power in the past were resurfacing.
For the first week or so, I meditated daily, loving the serenity it created and the insights I gained into what was going through my monkey-mind.
Then the number of times I meditated each week started to drop. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to meditate. I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time.
Hmm. Somehow I was finding time to wander around my Facebook NewsFeed though.
Truth is, it wasn’t not having enough time that was preventing me meditating. It was a lack of scheduling. I hadn’t found a regular slot where it would work for me to meditate daily.
We all resist scheduling. Even professional organisers like me. We tell ourselves that scheduling will constrain us, reduce our creativity, tie us down, make us a hostage to fortune.
In reality, scheduling frees us, maximises our productivity and, yes, provides serenity.
Once you’ve scheduled a task, you can stop worrying about getting it done. You know when you’re going to do it so you don’t have to think about it until then.
It doesn’t matter, how long your ‘to do’ list is, you’re confident everything will get done.
You’re not concerned that you haven’t got time to do everything, because you’ve planned it all out. The scheduling process highlights any clashes and shows you whether you can fit in everything you’ve taken on (whether you’ve promised an action to yourself or to someone else).
Because you’re scheduling in advance, if you can’t get everything done in the time available to you, you’ve got time to take action: tell someone you won’t be doing something after all; ask someone else to take something on; reschedule something; think of a quicker way to do something; find a way to combine two activities.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I grab my diary and start scheduling. I make a full ‘to do’ list and ensure I’ve scheduled every single item on it.
When someone asks me to do something, I always tell them when I’ll do it (even if they don’t ask). And, if it becomes clear I’m not going to get it done when I said I would, I let them know as soon as I can, and give them a new commitment. Then we both know where we are and we both have serenity. Simples!
I can fit in a daily meditation. Of course I can. It’s just a question of scheduling.
What do you avoid scheduling? And what impact does this have on your serenity?
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For over 20 years, Rachel has been helping public sector and charitable organisations declutter, clarify and organize their thinking. She founded Papworth Research & Consultancy Ltd in 1997. She has carried out more than 100 projects for organizations including City, District and County Councils, FE Colleges, the Government Equalities Office, Macmillan Cancer Support and KPMG.
She is a passionate advocate for low impact living, and has (so far!) reduced her personal carbon footprint to two thirds of the UK average. She is the external evaluator for Climate Connections, a Department for International Development funded project, which raises awareness of the links between climate change and poverty.
Through Green and Tidy, these skills and experience are available to you in your home. She’ll train, coach and support you to declutter and organize your home so it works for you.
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