A friend invited me to play pickleball this morning. I told her I had stuff going on. I didn’t tell her I was going to the library to write a blog post. The library was scheduled for later, but I wouldn’t get my other things done and then there is the coffee invite and then… I didn’t tell her what was on my schedule because I believed the feedback would be similar to past feedback. I didn’t want to engage in a conversation where I would be defending my choices. I didn’t want to sabotage my schedule and I didn’t want to not do what I had planned. It isn’t particularly about writing the blog post itself, it is about staying on course; it’s about showing up.
Yesterday I had a volunteer appointment scheduled. It was cancelled. I was happy I could do more of the things at home needing done. An hour later, my DIL messaged me and asked me to take our granddaughter to her gymnastics class later in the day, at the time I would be making supper. I jumped at the chance! There were leftovers in the fridge; how important is making supper anyway when I can be hanging out with a 3 year old I love.
The thing with working on so many things is balance, and for me flexibility. The reason I want to work for myself is to have the freedom to spend my time how I want. To be able to take an opportunity to help out my kids with their kids and to spend that time with them. I want to be able to keep Thursday morning Wallyball on my schedule and be able to go for a bike ride when the weather is nice.
The downside of working on a business, is there are so many opportunities (business and not business related) that come up that can eat into the part of the schedule that gets things done. Those things that are also important and that will produce income. The things that help people, the things that fulfill me. The things that help me to grow, the things that are giving back. That is where the balance needs to come in.
A couple weeks ago, I spent a lot of time in volunteer/service work. It just happened things fell in the same week. My FIL needed dental work which meant me taking him to appointments over a few days. One of the things about scheduling and time blocking is recognizing that the driving time can be more than the appointment time and then there is the “I’m out, I will stop at the store, I will drop this off…” that adds to it. The result of everything that week and the following week was a feeling of despair on the things that were important to me like having a tidy house, and getting my garden in, which is time sensitive; I can’t leave that until August. I was able to get some of that done the next week between appointments but also at the expense of a bike ride one day. We only have so many hours in a day/week and choices need to be made.
I have been diving deep into scheduling, working on making bigger (for me) moves in my business, changing my thoughts in some areas, working on upgrading life. There are things I am working on, signing up for or changing, that may not be understood with people I know. I will avoid the naysaying by not giving too much info, or I may just avoid the naysayers. I am willing to make changes, I am willing to work on my schedule to get the most out of my day. I am willing to say no to things that don’t serve me. I am willing to fail at what I am willing to do.
This past month I have had a weekly accountability partner. I have been filling out a weekly report reflecting on the past week and filling in the things I will work on in the coming week. It has been a great exercise in helping me focus on what I want to do, get done, and helping me see what I have achieved in the previous week. I have been able to get through some things I struggled with. I have struggled with goal setting in the past but I am working through it little by little. Growth takes time but application is like fertilizer on the thought seeds. I am applying a lot of things right now and scheduling, goals, lists are getting me further faster.
A quick note on lists. Last week I was introduced to results lists rather than ‘to do’ lists. So that is something I will be working on in the next while. A results list gives purpose to what you are doing. In cleaning a closet, I can do ‘clean out a closet’ but what is the result I am looking for. My result can be to organize the stuff to fit better, or my result can be to get rid of all the stuff I don’t need in the closet. Those are two different results for the same closet but if I am just cleaning the closet, I may get lost in the process and not get the result in the end. I may feel frustrated at the task and although enjoy the tidiness and clean shelves, still lack in a feeling of satisfaction.
Working on the lists, working on my schedule and working on weekly goals is where I am right now. So, today, I came to the library to write a blog post, away from the distraction of the things at home. I had it on my schedule.