This will be short. I’m only blogging because I promised myself I would.
See, this is almost a week off for me. I only have 53 hours of scheduled time this week, where last week was in the high 60s, so really, it’s like I have fifteen more hours to screw around than I did. Which is awesome, except that I’m filling those fifteen hours with productive tasks I haven’t been able to get to.
That sound at all familiar? I bet it does. That’s modern life.
Two things I want to say about it:
- Taking time to do nothing is critical. You do have to do that. Working more than about 50 hours in a week is truly unsustainable, even if you’re doing things you desperately love (like, say, teaching history to the best groups of teenagers in the world). You must take time to do nothing at all, if you’re to be creative. If you’re not, if you’re all ant and no grasshopper, please continue your very important pebble-lugging and don’t pay any attention to me.
- Schedule, schedule hard, and trust your schedule. I regularly (not to say always, by any means) schedule my week up on Sundays. Sunday is a good day for me, generally relaxing and quite peaceful, and it’s filled with music and the things of the Spirit. That means I feel a deeper connection to the things that matter, to my core priorities, so that’s when I schedule. Then, on Tuesday, when the world blows itself up and fifteen different people are clamoring for my attention, I have to trust that what I put down was good and necessary, and actually do what I said I would do.
- This is not to say no audibles are called. My Heavens, people.
- This is also why I use a Lego Schedule (TM). No, there isn’t actually a trademark. I just made the term up. But it works. My schedule is zsufolt, which is Hungarian for packed until it dies from suffocation. But the schedule is in blocks, and the blocks are moveable, though they shouldn’t be deleted. Here, I’ll show you.
- I have eleven calendars on this account, each with its own color. That gives me a visual on what’s taking up my time, and what isn’t, and whether those things need adjusting. No blue blocks equals no writing. Not acceptable.
- The blocks start at 5:30 am and they end at 10:30 pm. But you don’t need to see what’s in the earliest and latest blocks to get an idea of how this works.
- All the blocks are important, because the tasks in them have to get done. WHEN they get done is often less important, so I move them around like Lego blocks, but I try not to delete or ignore them. That’s when life gets into choke points and tries to kill you.
- Yes, generally that means that I don’t have a to-do list. I carry a 3×5 card around on which I write down things that have to get done. Then I put them in a block on the schedule, and when that block comes up, I do them. Simple. Necessary.
Those are my messages for today. I have checked my dark blue box. And see the white space in the schedule? That’s doing nothing time, which is when I get the idea that I should write a book about a counterfeit investigating organization that investigates counterfeiting. Stuff like that. No, you can’t steal the idea. Aw, heck. Go ahead. There’s more where that came from, this afternoon between 5 and 5:30.