If there’s one thing I’ve learned since leaving my job, it’s that I’ve gotten more real with myself than ever before, and I thought I was already pretty real lol.
It can’t be helped because not having an income and not having somewhere I need to be to make that income makes me take a serious look at my life. Like how the hell am I going to survive in the future? What are my next steps? Who do I want to become? How do I want to spend my days?
It’s both the scariest and liberating thing in the world. I think it’s partly liberating because it’s so scary. As I walk the line between fear and possibility every single day, I’m constantly exercising my intentions and asking a lot of Whys. I’m forced to ask because I know putting it off or ignoring it will end in nothing good. Actually, in my mind, I imagine it will end up exploding in my face lol. Like the combination of my depression and partying did back in the day. Not fun.
So one of the things I’m learning to be real about is planning my days. Here are 3 things I’ve learned when it comes to daily schedules.
- Don’t plan for the day on the day. Planning takes up a lot of time. And brainpower. It requires me to use the executive part of my brain – a very scientific term, I know – to prioritize and make decisions on things I would eventually execute on. At my previous job, I would come in early to try to put things in order and figure out what needed to get done and what needed to get done first (which was pretty much everything lol). But I would feel the pressure of trying to plan out an effective and efficient day that I would stress, feel all over the place, and get less done. And then my planning would suck anyway. So timing is key, in my opinion. When I have my plan ready the night before, I can sleep easier and deeper knowing it’s laid out and I’m ready to hit the ground running.
- If it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t exist. This one hit me hard. I read it in an email newsletter from Ramit Sethi, who I think is super cool haha. Super legit, in my opinion. Anyway, in my planner, there are two parts – the hourly breakdown and the to-do list. I would fill up the to-do list almost completely, feeling confident and excited to get these things done. These were things like calling to cancel a subscription, emailing someone back, and writing. My hourly breakdown looked a little bleak, filled with the major things I wanted to get done, people I was meeting up with. But at the end of the day, I would look back at my day and realize I didn’t get half the things done on the to-do list. It was frustrating, to say the least. I realized everything costs time. So simple, yet so profound lol. And I wasn’t allocating that time to the things I really wanted to do. Which meant, that thing wasn’t getting done. Frustrating. I finally had to get real with myself. If it’s not in my schedule, it doesn’t exist. It made me tone down my to-do list like crazy and beef up my hourly schedule. It makes sense. And now I look back on my day and see most everything has been completed. Holla.
- Use tools. Technology is amazing. I sometimes am not. Technology helps me work amazing when I can’t do it myself. I had to get real with my wandering mind and lack of focus and bad memory. Even the simplest things like a timer helps me get more done in a shorter amount of time. Whether I’m writing a blog, reading a book, journaling, working on a project, I usually set a timer, 25 minutes to an hour at a time. That way, I’m getting into the activity with a constraint in mind, which somehow causes me to focus better and deeper. It wasn’t always easy, but once I had the motivation, my Why, this tool helped me not play around with my time. Because time is not only expensive but it’s not replaceable. Another tool I used is voice memos to take notes and get out ideas and thoughts when I’m driving. Once I can get them out of my frontal, I know I can focus on other things and I’ll have them in the flow that I was in while it’s fresh.
Andddd that’s it for today! This is my journey of being real and getting stuff done. Because life is better when intentions match action. At least it is to me!