I am a creative spirit. I like to entertain romantic ideas i.e the wind will blow me where I need to be and having conversations with the universe will ultimately reveal my life path.
I believe those things to be true, however, I have learned that as an adult, to get the things you want, you have to evoke a certain level of pragmatism, organization and...yes...routine.
Don't be frightened by it. Routine does not equal boring old fart with no magic and lustre left in life. Adhering to a routine will not rob you of spontaneity and curiosity. You will continue to grow. Actually you will likely grow at an accelerated rate. Routine is about choosing those things that are most important to you and ensuring that you create time and space for them.
Last week's article dealt with how to effectively de-clutter your body temple and mind/spirit zone. This week expands on how to take your list of awesome life things and plug them into a spreadsheet style schedule so they actually get the attention they deserve.
I tried this. My super productive business coach pal showed me the way. And it has been the single most helpful adulting thing anyone has ever taught me.
Ok let's go. Here's a list of what you need to plug into your highly organized, ultra productive, colour explosion, fucking amazing weekly schedule so you can effectively CRUSH IT this year.
You need this. The days of boasting about how little sleep you got last night are over. It's as unfashionable as gloating about how much money you spent at Walmart. Nobody thinks it's cool. We are all now aware that being rested makes us more attentive, more creative, more focused and generally better at everything. Budget in 8 hours of sleep.
What time do you need to go to bed to get your sufficient 8? That depends on how you program the rest of your day.
Every fucking morning. Even if it's only for 10 minutes. It will make a huge difference in your day. Plug it in.
10 minutes less sleep scaring you a bit? GO TO BED TEN MINUTES EARLIER, DOOFUS! Don't start watching a show at 10:30. Budget backwards so you know what time you need to go to bed in order to have enough time to stretch and get ready for work in the am.
GET THE CRAP OUT OF THE WAY
Do all your admin and big project work at the beginning of the week, early in the day. You are most focused and productive before 3:00. Attack that shit. Don't put it off. It will ruin your life. Do it so you can enjoy the things you like without a guilty, dread demon looming about in your everything.
Check these guys twice a day and no more. Once before lunch around 11:00 and again around 4:00. This will limit your email time to 1 hour before lunch and before the end of your work day. Blitz them out and be done with them until you have to revisit again tomorrow. Do NOT check your emails first thing in the morning. You will waste your best creative energy on menial crap. Also, never check you email when you haven't budgeted in response time. All that does is create a cozy den in your brain for the dread demon to distract you from more important things.
Block in your lunch hour. However much time you need is up to you, but be realistic. You need to eat and turn off for a minute. If you finish early, then get to some other shit.
If your errands are random and scattered with no real plan to accomplish them, they can junk up your focus and productivity in other places. Schedule specific times to get all your errands done. Lump them together. If you happen to be walking by the bank and you're done lunch already, sure, go deposit some scrilla. But don't depend on the happenstance walk by. If you schedule your errands you will open up more opportunities for extra personal time. YAY!
Important. It's a thing. You gotta eat. Make the time to appreciate food. And if you have a significant other, sometimes this is the only time you get with them. Plot it in.
Give leisure a time slot. If you don't, you can end up falling into sloth monster zone and defaulting to watching a show or movie on Netflix all the time. Budget it in so you know that downtime reward is coming up soon.
Winston Churchill was a big fan of naps, but some people can't nap. I get that. Try taking up meditation. There are aps for it.
Turning your brain off at set intervals during the day is imperative for optimal brain and body function. Skip the caffeine and actually recharge your batteries with a 10-20 minute nap or meditation. Put it in your schedule so you know you have a zen moment coming your way once you've finished paying your gst or whatever other shitty thing you're stuck doing. It works.
As mentioned last week, budget how much time you need to devote to your hobbies and crafts. Then you'll actually work on them and get better rather than accidentally watching Breaking Bad all over again or skimming through FB photos of people you don't give a crap about.
Yep. Do it. schedule it. You'll be way less likely to skip it if it's there in big red letters. Once you go, you'll be happy you went cuz of all the endorphins, yah, but also you did a thing you scheduled in! Good for you!
Put it in there. It makes getting up early every day of the work week so much easier when you have that sweet, luscious, delectable sleep in on the horizon. It's a promise written in words. Capitalize it if you need to.
Do these regularly so you are never tempted by the Cleaning & Reorganizing Procrastination Imp. It's much easier to skip the gym if you walk into a disaster zone after work. Keep tidy and schedule your real clean ups.
Nature is good for you. You are nature actually. So don't forget, even if you're not the "outdoorsy type," that getting outside is important for your general well being. Tough in the winter for many, I know. I'm from Toronto. But it can be as simple as a walk. Just make the time, man. Get bundled and go be one with nature.
DINNER WITH FRIENDS
It's easy, especially at this time of year, to get lazy and reclusive. But we all need forms of personal and social relaxation. Some require more social interaction than others, but whatever your personality traits, budget people-time in so you know you won't go too long without laughing with your pals in RL.
*Social media does NOT count. Hugs are important.
I'm the worst at this one. I hate talking on the phone. Mostly because I always feel like I have too many things to do to yabber away on the phone. But when you have family and friends that live far away, it's important to connect. If you schedule in a time for phone chat, then not only will you actually call but you also will have created a time limit so you can say, "Hey ma, I'm really into this chat about how much money you saved on yogurt at the grocery store today but I'm out of my phone allowance for the day. Let's resume next week." She can't argue with you being a responsible, organized adult, can she?
RESPOND TO FB AND INSTA POSTS
Social media is a part of our lives now but nobody should expect immediate responses. Schedule in a time for these things. If you are a chronic user, it is most important for you to make sure you have a time to indulge so you don't get the Facebook-creep-tingle at inappropriate times.
ORGANIZE NEXT WEEK
On Friday or Sunday (or Saturday. whatever) allot a time to plan out your following week. It takes a few minutes. Don't lie to yourself and pretend that it will only take a second. Give yourself at least a half hour to align your productivity chakras for the week so you can crush it again come Monday.
Once you've assigned all the necessities, fill in your personals and you might end up with something that resembles this:
We crave order. It's a thing. Give yourself the gift of structure and clarity so you can be your personal best this year.
Try the regimented schedule for 2 months and your whole fucking life will change for the better. Once you get your rhythm going, it'll become natural to crush the living pulp out of your day to day. Get on with it and start loving the shit out of 2016! It's your year!!!!
Lemme know how it goes :)