I like feeling productive and I like accomplishing things in my life. So I set out to create the perfect daily schedule that will help me do just that. I learned what successful people do each day. I studied the daily routines of famous artists. I watched YouTube videos from wealthy entrepreneurs about time management….
I spent days [okay, months… years? *sheepish cringe] creating a perfect, productive schedule. This almighty thing (my schedule) was going to make sure I got the most done in the fastest time possible. PRO-DUC-TIVITY.
Every time I figured out a new schedule that was finally going make me successful, I felt oh so proud. I’d focus intently on revising my schedule – tweaking it here, chopping it there – then I’d log it into my planner and calendar to make it official. Then I’d sit back and ooh and ah over it…. Glory time. Unfortunately, that’s as far as I got.
It wasn’t just that unpredictable events kept throwing me off my schedule. I was deliberately trying to sabotage it. Every time. And it wasn’t my evil doubts and fears trying to thwart my great plans. It was my very own, honest-to-goodness, true-to-self… soul – you know, that one thing I keep barking at yallz to follow. The soul. Our true self. Our free, genuine desires. NOT the socially programmed mind or ego.
I looked at my schedule and realized it included tasks that I didn’t even want to do. 100 push ups first thing in the morning? Scrub the floor space of the entire house? Of course this schedule wasn’t going to work. I didn’t even like it. I mean, it might work for someone, but it wasn’t ‘me’.
But what was me? I had no idea. What if the real me didn’t want to exercise and work hard and accomplish things?
I also realized one day that I was accomplishing a lot more on my days off. What the? What, what? I had learned from one of those aforementioned successful entrepreneurs that it is just as important to honor our days off as we do our work days. So on non-work days I felt relaxed, under no pressure, free to do what I wanted. And I wanted to work! I wanted to learn things and write things and create and experience things.
So that’s when I considered that maybe I should start viewing every day as my day off.
But what about a daily schedule? Don’t we need a structure to follow? A plan to keep us from drifting away from our goals? Doesn’t a routine help us conserve time and energy? How can other people rely on us if we don’t stick with a plan?
I’d say that yes, a daily routine can absolutely help us create the life we want. If we observe the patterns of nature, we can see that plants, trees and creatures function according to times, seasons and cycles. Nature is organized yet flexible. It works together. It flows. And it successfully creates a habitable environment.
But a daily schedule is a tool, not a dictatorship. We turn it into a dictatorship when we don’t have enough confidence in ourself to create our own life. Instead, we can consciously determine our daily schedule according to what personally works for us, not the other way around.
That advice isn’t just for people who work at home but for people who “go to work” as well. I can hear the “But I have to work at a certain time,” “No way, I’ve got clients,” or “I’ve got kids in school!” I can hear you…. I can hear you!
Living from our soul requires us to think outside of the proverbial box. Reconnecting with our inner drive is the tricky part. Especially if we abandoned our soul passions a long time ago, like when we were 3 years old. It’s going to take a lot of letting go of controlling thought patterns and a whole new way of free-flowing, soul thinking instead.
Why do we have a daily occupation in the first place? Hopefully it’s because that occupation is what we really, really wanted to do. Yet, even when we follow our heart’s passion and our unique talents, we can still get off on the wrong track. Our passion spake. We followed. Then we told that passion to sit down, shut up and follow the rules. Six years later: Why am I so unhappy with my life?
The point is that we could accomplish a lot more, a lot faster while thoroughly enjoying it all if our daily activities are continually fueled by our inner passion. So how do we get back on track exactly? As always, that strategy is unique to each of us, but here are some guidelines to help get the wheels moving – or rather, to get brand new, customized, spiffy wheels:
What Does Your Current Life Revolve Around?
Look at your current schedule or usual routines. What is the purpose or main drive that your activities center around? Is your main focus your job? Money? Your kids? Your future spouse and future kids? Your social life? Your house? Pets? These are all wonderful endeavors but they are not the main focus of your life. You are the main focus of your life.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be out partying all day, having sex all night, shopping all day or getting a 12 hour massage – well technically it could. But the point is that we do the things we do for ourselves, which translates secondarily into genuine service for others. If we are honestly fulfilled, that will inspire other people to seek that too. If we’re generating harmonious energy, that will automatically contribute to a more harmonious world. We want your life to revolve around the real you. That makes us all happy.
As you observe your daily activities, are they tasks you honestly enjoy doing? Or do you have to force yourself out of bed in the morning because you think the drudgery will bring you some kind of happiness in the future? If you’re not enjoying your life now, you won’t enjoy it later either. This is because what we focus on always grows and expands.
Let Go Of What Isn’t ‘You’
The next step is to start walking away from what isn’t your thing. When we try to be someone we’re not, we set ourself up for disappointment. I learned through a series of failures that fitness programs just aren’t my thing. But gardening? Cleaning and organizing my home while dancing to loud music? Yoga stretches at night before I go to bed? That is SO my thing.
If your life is currently revolving around someone or something other than you, your skills and passions, you might want to change your focus. You can either rediscover your passion for why you committed to particular endeavor in the first place, or you can start working a plan to move toward an activity that is more conducive to your hopes, your strengths and your intentions.
When we seek to let go of something that no longer serves us, we’re often met with cries of resistance: You can’t do that, that’s selfish. That’s not safe. You’ll be punished somehow. You’ll only find yourself alone. Be prepared to mute the mental programming that says you can’t do what you want. We can save that for the control-types.
Ditch the Schedule
That’s right. Who decided we had to follow a schedule in the first place? Oh yeah, maybe it was the Dictatorship – that thing that tells our soul to sit down, shut up and turn in our homework. Maybe we’ll discover that we personally thrive on a 9 to 5 routine but we won’t know until we give ourselves as much freedom as possible to discover that through trial and error. Our schedule is a mere tool, not our slave-master.
Look for Inspiration
One way to discover how we want to conduct our daily life to look for active people who light us up. They genuinely spark our inner passion. But what about them inspires us exactly? Sometimes that’s not so obvious. If we’re drawn to wealthy people, it’s not their money that turns us on, but their freedom to live the way they want, or do the job they want. We’ll need to dig within to really know ourself or else we’ll end up living another false life.
What serves as a reminder to follow your soul inspiration? A picture? A quote or mantra? A certain goddess, gemstone, scent, or artifact from nature? You can place this object or group of objects in a convenient space such as a window sill behind a kitchen sink or your bathroom mirror where you will see it every day.
Honor and Follow the Distractions
That thing you wanted to do today? Cool. That thing you got distracted with on your way to do that thing? Even more cool! I know we’ve been trained to slap our own hand if we veer off course, but the distractions are a strong indicator of our true life path. By giving some room to our spontaneous impulses, we’re sending a message to the universe that says we’re ready to let go of our perceptions of control and bravely follow our genuine self as our guide.
Your Schedule Will Naturally Accommodate Your Focus
Our daily schedule will naturally evolve on its own after we accept, trust and connect with our inner passions. We also need to let go of any false endeavors to make space for what is more conducive to our unique life callings.
For me, it didn’t happen overnight. It was a little scary at first trying to wing it. There was plenty of resistance. But after letting go of the insecure, pretentious struggle to be someone I was not, and respecting my hopes and desires, I slowly began to get meaningful tasks accomplished. After a while, I looked back and noticed I was moving in a new, more desirable life direction that gave me time to enjoy each step.
Interestingly enough, I found myself following an adventurous daily routine without even trying. No push ups necessary.