The year is nearly over. It seems like it’s only just begun, and here we are, making Christmas plans. At this time of year, I always find myself becoming more reflective. I try to weigh up the pros and cons of the year, analysing what worked – and what didn’t. I also try to wrap up everything that’s still languishing on my To Do list, which is quite a feat when you consider that it’s a month-and-a-half’s work, and I have only a week in which to do it. And when you factor in the fact that we’re in the middle of a pretty gigantic house move, as well … Needless to say, most of the stuff will have to wait.
The main thrust of these musings tends to be centred around productivity. I ask myself questions such as:
- Could I have achieved more?
- If so, how?
- Was I distracted and thus less productive? Or
- Were my goals unrealistically optimistic?
It’s usually a combination of all of these. As often happens in times of deep reflection, I keep “stumbling” across relevant snippets of articles and blog posts that help mould the direction of my discoveries. Steady Mom published a very useful article on creating a schedule that actually works, and I devoured it eagerly. Her advice was sound and immensely reasonable: consider your worst possible day, and plan for that. Then, if things go well, you have that elusive gift: free time.
So I did.
It turns out my worst possible day is very bad indeed. Effectively, I would get nothing done. Nothing at all. And I’ve had those days: the days where Goldilocks has a millions questions, an ADD brain fade and an aspie explosion one after the other (or all at once). The days when maggots infest the kitchen no matter what I do, the plumbing goes on the fritz, and I forgot to buy enough eggs for breakfast and the gate gets stuck and – well, ya know.
Obviously, I can’t plan my life around my worst days. But I also can’t plan the way I usually do: micro-managing every event down to the last 5 minutes, with no room for breakdowns whatsoever. In many ways, this exercise was very useful in that it forced me towards a sense of balance – something that is often sorely lacking in my planning.
I now have a plan. It’s flexible and (I believe) realistic, and it should make it possible to start achieving a sense of productivity and balance.
Do you have a tried-and-trusted solution for scheduling your busy life? I’d love to hear it! Please share what works for you in the comments below.