4 days: 30 minutes at a time

Making a plan for every 30 minutes of your waking life (as discussed here on Monday) is easy.  It turns out making reality look anything like that plan is tricky.  Go figure.   Now, I’m not looking to turn our lives into some perfect utopian thing where every moment we are perfectly engaged and we are doing exactly what we planned. The goal was/is just to do more of the things we want to do and get some stuff off the master project list we made up for the month.

Some bits of time have gone perfectly – like I planned to eat dinner each night and we totally have!  Also my morning schedule has been spot on.  I know exactly what I’m doing with my life between 6:30 and somewhere between 10 and 11am each day. After that it gets a little dicey.  A few things were completely missed – like I forgot to include the time I spend getting my kiddo into bed each night.  She’s too old to call it bedtime, but it’s still a known chunk of time I spend with her at the end of her day and I totally didn’t put it on my schedule.

Oh, and there was that bit of time on Tuesday where I think I might have just zoned out and stared at the wall for 30 minutes because I have no idea what I did between 7:30 and 8pm but it must have been something close to nothing.

But, as the fourth day of this four week plan comes to a close I would say it has been good thus far.  It felt a little magical to cross off two of the things on our project list, and I’m in the middle of three more.  Hubby and I have both worked out every day, the house is clean, and here am I am (as scheduled) writing this for ya’ll with no mental drama because this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

I printed out my ‘schedule’ for the week and stuck it to the blackboard in my kitchen and I actually reference it all the dang time.  Spending the time in advance to plan the week to this level has meant that I don’t have to constantly be evaluating what I should be doing next.  That has freed up a surprising amount of mental load* in a way no to-do list ever did for me.

And perhaps the very best part is when the time I’m supposed to be working on something ends (or my schedule gets turned upside down) I’m not freaking out because I know more time to work more on whatever has already been scheduled.  That turns out to be a really powerful feeling.

As we head towards the weekend I feel good, and reasonably certain that this weekend won’t be one of the ones where Sunday night we all look at each other wondering where the last two days went and why we didn’t get anything done.  Fingers crossed!


*Bonus:  Mental load is a concept I’ve been pondering since a friend shared this cartoon with me.  I’m not so into the He vs. She part of it at the moment, but I definitely buy into the “planning and organizing things is already a full time job” and the definition that stuck in my head: “Mental load means always having to remember”

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