I have recently taken an RWO (rostered week off), a luxury I know but very needed. During this time of reflection and rest I have come to the realisation that for most of us the biggest thing we need to declutter is our schedules.
When working with a client one of the first questions I ask them is “what do you want from this space?”. This is important, firstly so that I know what the client is wanting to achieve but secondly, and more importantly, so that the client takes a moment and articulates their feelings. I write down the said purpose and feeling that the client wants to achieve to refer back to over our time together.
Sometimes the vision you articulate is unrealistic for the space, maybe due to space, budget, lifestyle and a compromised solution needs to be found, sometimes it only needs a little tweaking to fulfil the brief.
I want you to stop for a moment and articulate what you want from your schedule. What is it you want to do each day, what do you need to do, what really is important?
“We are trying so hard to cram so much of life into our time,
that we are often failing to enjoy it.”
So lets have a look at your schedule – does it need just a little tweaking or a full reality check? Have you got time allowed for events to go overtime, to take an important call from a friend, to have a cup of tea, to play, to read, to catch up, to breathe?? Similarly to working on your drawers and cupboards, the initial declutter forces us to keep only what we really need but the true beauty of the organising is in the space between the items – the white space. White space is essential as it allows for overflows at stressful times, it allows for growth and flexibility when needed, it allows for your things to breathe and to just be in the space.
You need sleep, you need food, you need love. We do not need to learn pilates, attend every school event, sporting activity or even every social get together. Its OK to stop, to have some white space in your diary. Your kids are not happier being run around like crazy people with a stressed out mum. Your friends don’t care that you have attended every event but are not really present. Most of all you are not happier feeling overwhelmed with calendar clutter.
Let’s look at after school activities as an example. (If you don’t have kids, think about any classes or groups you belong to). The initial intention of these activities is to be a fun and often educational experience. What they turn into is a forced event that not only stretches our time management skills to the max but often puts strain on our budgets and our stress levels. I see it all the time, rushing to find the right shoes or bag, pleading for the kids to get in the car, fighting the traffic to get there only to complain that the teacher or coach isn’t producing the results we want for our kids.
Swimming school, scouts, playing an instrument, participating in sport, tutoring and more. What is it all for? Is this what you want from life? For your kids life? Could the initial intention of some fun and fitness be achieved by just taking the kids to the park or going for a walk? Maybe they could help make dinner or just have a playdate?
Before you burn out, crash out, melt down or self combust – STOP and evaluate what you really want. No fancy organising app or family planner can help if your calendar is cluttered so go to your diary and start decluttering the things that do not fulfil the vision you want for your life.
P.S For any easy family planner idea click here