There are two questions that can completely change the way you use your calendar. It’s about thinking and refining.
It doesn’t matter what you do with your time; rather, success is measured by whether you did what you set out to do. It’s fine to watch a video, scroll through social media, daydream, or take a nap, as long as that’s what you’re planning on doing.
Alternatively, checking work emails, a seemingly productive task, is a distraction if done when you plan to spend time with family or work on a presentation. Keeping a time-limited schedule is the only way to know if you’re getting distracted. If you don’t spend your time doing what you planned, you’re on the wrong track.
To create a weekly schedule, you’ll need to decide how much time you want to spend on each area of your life. How much time do you want to spend on yourself, important relationships, and your job? Note that “work” does not exclusively mean paid work. Your life’s work area may include community service, activism, and side projects.
Build your values into your calendar
How much time in each area would allow you to be consistent with your values? Start by creating a weekly calendar template for your perfect week. You can find a blank template using my free online calendar tool on my website.
Then, set aside 15 minutes on your schedule each week to reflect and refine your schedule by asking two questions.
Question 1 (Reflect): “At what point in my schedule did I do what I said I would do and when did I get distracted? »
To answer this question, you need to look back over the past week. I recommend using a distraction tracker to note when and why you’re distracted.
If an internal trigger has distracted you, what strategies will you use to deal with it the next time it occurs? Did an external trigger, like a phone call or a talkative co-worker, make you stop doing what you wanted to do? Or was a scheduling problem the reason you gave in to the distraction? If so, you can consult your distraction tracker to help you answer the next question.
Question 2 (Refine): “Are there any changes I can make to my schedule that will give me the time I need to better live my values? »
Maybe something unexpected happened, or maybe there was something wrong with the way you planned your day. Timeboxing allows us to think of each week as a mini-experiment.
The goal is to figure out where your schedule went wrong the week before so you can follow it more easily next time. The idea is to engage in a practice that improves your schedule over time by helping you know the difference between traction and distraction every moment of the day.
Before continuing, think about what your current schedule looks like. I’m not asking what you did, but rather what you agreed to do in writing. Is your schedule filled with carefully planned plans or is it rather empty? Does this reflect who you are? Are you letting others steal your time or keeping it as a limited and valuable resource?
When our lives change, so do our schedules. But once our schedule is established, the idea is to stick to it until we decide to improve it in the next round. Approaching the exercise of creating a schedule as a curious scientist, rather than a drill sergeant, gives us the freedom to improve with each iteration.
Protect your most valuable resource
By turning our values into time, we make sure we have time for traction. If we don’t plan ahead, we shouldn’t point fingers or be surprised when everything becomes a distraction. Being indistractable is a big part of making sure you take the time to practice every day and eliminating the distraction that’s keeping you from living the life you want, one that involves taking care of yourself, your relationships, and your life. your job.