Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Can You Structure Flexibility?

I’ve just spent a few hours going through a ‘structuring’ phase. I tend to got through alternating cycles of structure and flexibility when I get frustrated/ stressed with the prior phase. I’ve been through prolonged periods of structuring my time to achieve an optimal balance of tasks, projects and goals I want to achieve. Normally however I default to running a mezze of different systems which have pockets of structure in a generally flexible approach.

However, in my posts about trusted performance and trusted action systems and my questions about Why is Time Management so Hard? you can see that the stress of the things that I’m not doing, or the bouncing out of the ‘trusted system’ (the goading children) are paining me ;-)

So, I’m trying a time-bound structured system again. Not calendar-set and micro-managed, but introducing a set of time ‘pockets’ throughout the day which overall achieve balance. They are pockets of focus that are time bound, but when all are achieved throughout the day I should be taking the steps towards each of my goals and overall vision of success.

What am I hoping to be different? I have run my most successful ‘structured phases’ when studying for my degree and professional qualifications. I would balance out my study subjects throughout a time period into bite-sized chunks and literally close the book and pick up the next subject matter when the time ended. Although there was resistance in terms of wanting to continue studying subjects past the time slot if I was panicking about lack of understanding, the pressure of understanding the rest of the subjects and the exam deadlines provided me with quite ruthless ‘switching’ pressure.

The main difference to when I have tried previously is overall certainty of vision and goals I want to achieve over the next 1,3 5 and 10yrs. i am also very satisfied that my goals are balanced to maximise my happiness. I have a lot relaxation time (including everything associated with Just Seven Things) built into this structure.

The big question is whether I can maintain mindfulness and trust in this system (and whether my energies keep up with the pace I’ve set myself to achieve)

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