I’ve been wrestling with my calendar lately, wanting to find a “perfect” schedule to allow me to accomplish my goals in the new year!
I’m a single mom of two boys who have a very busy school schedule, along with being an entrepreneur and being responsible for the administration of a non-profit organization, not to mention the regular household responsibilities and trying to create some “me time” in there!
Effective calendaring has felt downright impossible!
As my work expands, and I find myself with new responsibilities, I’ve been extremely challenged to stay focused and make the most of the time I’m spending.
I’ve read books, watched videos, tried various calendars and planners, all in the interest of making every moment count.
(Yes…I get the irony of the time I’ve spent simply trying to make more time!)
I’ve tried to segment my tasks into blocks of time, using suggested guidance such as 50 minutes on, 10 minutes off throughout the day.
These one hour blocks of time were set up back to back throughout the day, and I found that I was challenged to move from one thing to another. Even with the 10 minute “off” time or transition time, I still noticed that I wasn’t able to effectively settle in to the next task.
I might use the off time for grabbing a snack, or making a quick phone call that wouldn’t end up being so quick. I might try to catch up on a few emails in that time, and get lost in cyberspace.
Ultimately, even if I did settle down to my next task, just as I would get going with some level of progress, it was time to transition again.
Blocking single hours of time back to back also brought tremendous anxiety and frustration every time I would get an unexpected phone call, or have a needed meeting come up.
There was no room for anything, and I always felt like I was sacrificing something to make room for something else.
Energetically, this simply didn’t feel good.
All of the color coded blocks of time on my calendar started to look like a rainbow sprinkled bunch of flashing lights that I could never settle into!
I had the idea to try scheduling with half-day blocks in hopes of getting more focus and being better able to sink into tasks. What I found was that long stretches of time such as a half-day, while so preferable if they can actually happen, simply aren’t realistic for my life.
I realized that it was rare in any of my days that I wouldn’t have some appointment, school function, or task that had to fit in right in the middle of my half day block of time.
This only led to more frustration and feeling like I couldn’t make progress.
I finally think I found something I can work with in between those two efforts.
I’ve started playing with 2 hour blocks of time.
The 2 hour blocks seem to allow me to settle into something more solidly, and ultimately be more effective.
However, something else came to light that I think is going to make the biggest impact on my sanity.
So many gurus say that every moment should be blocked, stating time accountability as the reason.
They say to block time for lunch, breaks, calls, emails, projects….everything!
But you know what?
Trying to do that for myself, thinking it was a great accountability maneuver, only generated a feeling of entrapment and rigidity.
I was CONSTANTLY moving things around as other things would come up.
I realize that discipline is a big part of making any schedule work. I’m learning to be more disciplined too, but those of you who know me know that I’m super disciplined in so many areas of my life, and I just didn’t get why this area felt so challenging.
I continued to believe that there was a better way of setting myself up for effectiveness, and ultimately giving myself a foundation and framework with which I could more easily be disciplined and meet my needs and goals.
What I discovered is…
W H I T E S P A C E
I started taking my 2 hour blocks of time, and leaving white space between them.
I determined the overall hours I wanted to work on the various tasks for the various domains of my life, and created the number of blocks required to meet those needs.
Then, I left space around the blocks.
Just looking at my calendar feels far more peaceful!
With the white space, when things come up I have wiggle room to make adjustments.
Plus, it feels like I also have time to get ahead of things if things don’t come up and I instead fill that time with extra focused task time.
I’m also flexibly allowing for some one hour blocks of time if I determine they fit more appropriately.
What this is doing for me is creating spaciousness…something I think gets forgotten in the realm of time and planning.
The Feminine is related to space, the masculine is related to time. For a balanced life, we need to balance both.
My work is so much about bringing awareness of feminine empowerment, I feel embarrassed to have “forgotten” the Feminine in this calendaring task.
Time tends to be very linear. Just think of the idea of “chronological.” There’s an order to everything with time.
Space is more of a container. There is form, such as the space of our room, the space that holds the stars and planets, the space that holds the task of making dinner every day, etc.
Yet, even with form, this space is flexible. We can organize it the way we want to, move through it with freedom and flexibility, and express ourselves in various ways each time we enter that space.
Even in the cosmos, while the rhythms and movements of the planets might seem to be the same, the configuration of those planets in space is different every day.
This is the magic of the Feminine. She is flexible, moving, dancing and expressing in so many unique ways.
And…She does so within the context of form.
So, yes, it is important to have a calendar, honor a schedule, and particularly pay attention to rhythm in our day to day lives.
We need to know the linear, moment to moment activities and responsibilities that must be tended to.
But it’s also very important to remain open, allow for movement and expression, and maintain room for flexibility.
The healthy Feminine is never boxed in. She morphs and changes, ever expanding, ever growing.
The Feminine knows there’s never only one way to do things. When she’s given room to move and breathe, she’ll bring inspiration and insight.
This is a beautiful way to remember the Feminine, and bring forth a harmonious connection between the Sacred Masculine and the Sacred Feminine.
This is new to me. I’m only just discovering this. I have no idea how it will all pan out.
Yet something inside of me feels so strongly that this realization will make a huge difference in how my life unfolds from here on out.
I hope these ideas prove helpful to you too as you consider how you want to plan and spend your days, and move in the most empowered way toward realizing your goals and mission for the new year!
I’d love to hear your ideas around planning your days effectively, and supporting your most empowered self to shine through. Please let me know!
Many New Year Blessings!