The thought of writing out a schedule, and sticking to it, makes me cringe. My nose crinkles, I scowl at the thought and my entire body goes tense. The dreamy concept of flowing freely through life, with no destination in mind, waking and sleeping whenever, just floating through it all, is what I crave.
I raised my children without “set” schedules. We were not locked into other people’s schedules. We played when we felt like it, napped when we were tired, cleaned when we felt like it, ate when we were hungry. Over time routines with the kids just happened. They evolved organically and it felt good.
“Don’t your spirits rise at the thought of having an entire day free to work, with no appointments at all? Well, that means your spirits are correspondingly depressed when you don’t. And ambitious projects are by definition close to the limits of your capacity. A small decrease in morale is enough to kill them off.”
Over the past few years I have felt the pressure to change my approach. There is a common notion out in the world that unless you are time-blocking, heavily scheduled, and have a plan for every moment, one just won’t succeed.
Intuitively, I knew that it didn’t feel right, yet I wanted to achieve my goals so I figured I would try to go mainstream.
I read articles and books, I sought wisdom from amazing, successful women, and tried to create within a Manager’s Schedule.
According to Paul Graham, a Manger’s Schedule is for those powerful bosses, ruled by their appointment book, and time-block in one hour increments. If they need more time, they add it, but overall, people that excel on a Manger’s Schedule, do so because their tasks can be completed in shorter chunks of time.
Working within the Manager’s Schedule, was soul crushing for me. I could not get any traction. I would get a lot of “tasks” done yet I was creating anything. It felt like all the magic was sucked out of my world and it was mundane.
A mundane existence does not lead to creativity or joy. My creative spirit was depressed and as a result I achieved even less than before I tried to fit into the popular Manager’s Schedule. I would spend so much of my creative energy trying to fit into a mould that I was not designed to fit into.
As I read through Paul Graham’s essay, a wave of relief flooded through me. There is another way to exist, to achieve goals, and feel inspired! Creating take inspiration, something you cannot snap into existence.
I am a maker. I feel alive when I am creating. Art, crafts, knitting, writing, creating meals, a beautiful home, yoga. I am a creative spirit. I love having a flexible schedule and when I try to imagine it differently, those feelings of the depression of my spirit seep in. I feel restricted and unproductive when the day is heavily scheduled.
Embracing the Maker's Schedule
Since I still have teens and kids at home, being completely free with my time isn’t realistic, especially since two of my amazing kids are hockey players.
However, rather than attempting to schedule everything, I have started to create routines and rituals that have the flexibility I crave to be creative with enough structure to produce results.
There are set things that I need to complete, however when I chose to complete them is flexible, rather than written into a schedule.
Since reading Paul Graham’s essay, I feel lighter and I am excited to create a Maker’s Schedule that fits. I am excited to experiment with routines and rituals to see what feels good, rather than trying to fit into someone else’s ideal.
My creativity is reignited and I look forward to sharing the routines and rituals I develop and experiment with!
What are your thoughts? Do you excel with a set schedule or do you crave the flexibility?