Part 3: Dreaming vs Creating
The last two weeks, I've been exploring how you can go from dreaming about to creating your ideal life.
If you missed those emails, or haven't done the exercises from them, start here:
Dreaming vs Creating, Part 1
Dreaming vs Creating, Part 2
You can also listen to the discussion in my Facebook group videos.
This week, I want to offer some simple and tangible steps to help you get into balance with your time.
So, you've decided which parts of your life you want to be primary and where you most want to spend your time. Then, you calculated how many hours per week each of those parts is receiving. But, let me guess... it's out of balance.
It's highly likely that your passion parts and your most ideal parts are out of balance. In fact, for many of us, the passion piece is either not getting enough time on our schedule OR, it's getting too much time and we're going to be over it really soon.
So, how you can fix that? It's as simple as scheduling.
As you went through last week's exercise and looked at where you are spending your hours, take note if those hours are being used efficiently, or not.
In my Facebook group, a few weeks ago, a discussion came through from a woman who couldn't decide how she wanted to spend her time. She was flip flopping between being "gung-ho" in her career and wanting more focus there and then feeling the pull toward social justice work. Feeling exhausted from the back-and-forth, she was stuck.
So, I suggested she take note of all her passions and decide where the energy was most exciting right now. And, noticing where her energy needs to be from day to day, or week to week. Then, she can create a schedule that works accordingly. Such as, career on M/W/F and passion work on T/Th. If she cannot commit to whole days right now, at least she can commit to one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays and let it evolve. The idea with scheduling is that the time is sectioned off into its own bracket. You can get your mind focused in one place, during that one time frame and that allows you to be in flow and less likely to feel like you're diving deep into something then having to scramble up to the surface and gasp for air to begin something else. The latter makes you feel scattered and often leads to burn out.
I think we can have it all, but we have to know when each part of "all" comes in. This takes experimenting, feeling and scheduling. While also being open to shifting your schedule as needed.
I used myself as an example for the last two emails, so let's look at this again. My ideal life and schedule currently includes these parts:
Health care / self care (appointments with my health team, my own practices and priorities)
Running my business and working (which is my passion)
Writing my book (a separate way of doing my work that has a different energy)
Nature & Travel
Home (nurturing my space, maintaining life chores, cooking, etc)
My list has two places that need constant balancing right now, and I have to be very careful not to overdo one or I'll get burned out and not be able to do anything very well. Can you guess what they are? It's 2 & 3 - running my business and working and writing my book.
If I overwork myself, using too much time and energy in those areas right now, my self care routines drop, my time for relationships drops, my time in nature drops and the time spend doing home stuff drops. It's pretty easy to understand how that happens.
So, I have to create real boundaries for myself around my work and book. For me, the boundaries are a schedule.
In a normal week, I work Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I take Wednesdays for my own self care and health supportive appointments. I try really hard not to work on those days but the last few weeks have included a few hours of work on Wednesdays. That's because my book is taking more energy right now (on my regular work days) and I've had to use some roll-over time to catch up in my business.
This feels fine and good, though, which helps me affirm that I am still in balance. If I was resisting the extra work and resenting it, and feeling fully burned out, it would be different. If I felt that my health depended on not using those roll-over hours, I wouldn't do it.
That's what I meant above, when I mentioned following where the energy is most exciting right now, and where it needs to be from day to day.
You know that my number one goal as a coach is to help you learn more about yourself and trust yourself in the process. Being able to follow the flow of your own energy and desires is a piece of that trust. We have to evaluate our boundaries and schedules, week to week, to be sure everything is happening in a way that feels right.
I suggest taking notice of what feels most important (in priority) and what feels best (in your body, heart, and mind), then creating a schedule. If you tap into your body's gut wisdom, you'll be able to have a great support in creating the appropriate sections of time in your days, or weeks.
Also, be willing to go against the grain with your scheduling. And, know when and how you feel most productive with your time.
Is it clear to you that on Tuesday mornings, you are really focused and that's a great time to do research on your passion project? Do you know that on Thursdays, when the housecleaner comes, that gives you the perfect window to do grocery shopping? Or, on Fridays when your child has a half day of school, your afternoon will focus solely on family time? Or, do you need to experiment with it more?
The idea of productivity is not exactly about what you "can" get done but getting into an inner flow. This can be with family or home or work time.
For me, I'd rather do all the home chores at once than dabble in them throughout the week. I'd rather have a fully devoted evening with my husband vs trying to wrap up loose ends on work at that time. And, I even section my work days into different energies.
I have different types of client sessions that I do each week. I have discovery calls for new clients, I have coaching calls for existing clients, I have coaching calls for surgical clients and I have mentor calls for new ITN students. So, knowing that to serve you better, I prefer to stay in a consistent mindset, I only schedule one type of call in a day. Discovery calls on Mondays, coaching calls for existing clients on Tuesdays, coaching calls for surgical clients on Thursdays and mentor calls on Fridays. As I have been working on my book, I do not take any client calls on those days and stay in the writing flow for at least 4-6 hours.
See how it's about scheduling, but also knowing what works best for you?
If you have no idea how to schedule things, do a little journaling and see where you want to use your energy that day. If you can't commit to a weekly schedule, try to commit to one thing per day - the gym from 9-10am, to having lunch from 1-2pm, going for a walk after dinner, etc.
This is all about trial and error. So, I suggest you take some notes and create some boundaries for yourself, and see where it takes you!
Then, let me know how it goes,
P.S. You may have noticed that I write emails three to four weeks in a row then take a week off. This is also part of my ideal schedule. I give my clients (and myself) an integration week once per month, without any new information. So, I won't be in your inbox next week. I'd love to hear from you, though, and if you need any more personal or specific tips for scheduling your ideal life!