I’ve lived most of my life with a strictly-regimented schedule. And I liked it that way.
When I started my business and gave up Outlook and a boss, the first thing I did was buy a white board and a Panda Planner so I could create my own schedule.
It worked great. I could make my list at the beginning of the day, and if you asked me at 10:00 am what I would be doing at 3:00 pm, I could tell you.
Then I had a baby.
Averee couldn’t care less about my schedule. She sleeps when she’s tired, and she wants to eat when she’s hungry. I can’t tell you what I’m going to be doing an hour from now.
Maybe you have a kid too. Or an aging parent. Or chronic pain. Or anything else that makes scheduling and setting expectations for your day challenging.
What does productivity look like in that context?
For me, it looks like living life by rhythm rather than by schedule.
My mornings include feeding a baby, cuddling her back to sleep, and sneaking in a quick shower and breakfast before she wakes up again. She’s sleeping right next to me as I type, because today she’s giving me the afternoon to focus on work. Miniature routines allow me to know what’s next, but they also are helping me break my addiction to the clock.
I can show up on time to scheduled activities but allow the rest of the day to flow as it needs to.
Feeling like I haven’t “accomplished enough” by 2 pm isn’t doing anyone any favors. It makes time the enemy. I’m loosening my grip on the illusion that I can control my time like that.
There’s just what’s in front of me, and doing the best I can with whatever that is.
And, let me tell you, it feels a lot better to do things this way.
How do you respond when life chews up your plans?