Our schedules are, all too often, our masters rather than our servants. And when that’s the case, our schedules aren’t truly ours.
What that means in practice is that they aren’t going to work very well for us. Okay, so, what does work well, then?
When it comes to our schedules, the emphasis needs to be on self-reference. That’s true for lots of things. And it’s most definitely the foundation on which a really useful schedule has to be built.
Are you familiar with the book Our Bodies, Ourselves? (Bear with me – this isn’t a non sequitur!) I well remember how exciting it was when it was first published – how revolutionary that book was! It was a transformational moment – the fruit of much struggle, much work, and a lot of consciousness-raising. Remember that term?
Transformational is a powerful word, and Our Bodies, Ourselves was about power and empowerment. It offered encouragement for claiming ownership and honoring the foundational connection between our bodies and ourselves. And so it is with everything about our lives – including schedules. OUR schedules.
You see, your schedule isn’t the same as your To-Do List. It isn’t a grid to be filled with activity-after-activity. Your schedule is the embodiment of your values and represents the weave of your life. Like a mirror, it reflects your priorities clearly and accurately, without comment or judgment. In a very real sense, your schedule says who you are.
Once you clearly see what you’re doing, you’re in a position to make conscious choices about making changes.
So, before you even think about revising your schedule, I invite you to first take a look in that mirror. Don’t fall into the trap of self-criticism. Just do a quick review of your typical weekly schedule.
For now, just make it a quick scan, asking yourself where your schedule feels like it’s really your schedule. And likewise, identify the spots where it doesn’t. My guess is that it will be pretty clear to you, so go ahead and write down one example of each.
There’s a lot of information to be mined from your schedule. And once you clearly see what you’re doing, you’re in a position to make conscious choices about making changes.
And when it comes to power, that’s where the rubber meets the road! So, what’s one change that you’ll make in tomorrow’s schedule, based on what you’ve learned today?