Do you want to have more flexibility in your daily routine?
Are you interested in having more time for yourself at home or at work?
Get ready, because I’m going to suggest a somewhat counterintuitive concept…
The advice is simply this: schedule nothing in your calendar.
What? Schedule absolutely nothing in your calendar?
You read that correctly: zero, zilch, nada, nothing!
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon all of your existing appointments, meetings or commitments, and cross-off everything from your calendar.
What it does mean, however, is that you simply block off a chunk of free time in your schedule.
You don’t have to fill this time with anything in particular.
Rather, it’s important you just leave the block of time completely free and available for you to use as you see fit.
That means no work commitments, no personal meetings, and no social events.
An interesting approach, huh?
In this post, I’ll describe just a few of the benefits that come from scheduling nothing in your calendar.
Be forewarned: once you try this tip, you might want to use it as often as you can…
Please note: There will be no blog post this upcoming, Monday, September 5th, in observance of the Labor Day holiday here in the U.S. I’ll be back with a new post on Wednesday. Enjoy the weekend and I’ll see you next week!
You get a much-needed break.
Does it ever feel as if you never have time for yourself? Are you constantly coming home from work or social outings, completely worn-out and tired? It’s extremely difficult to keep working or playing for extended periods of time, be it for five hours or five months, without any breaks.
When you schedule nothing in your calendar, you ultimately give yourself permission to stop and take a break. Remember, this is your life. Why run around ragged and exhausted, when you can be rested and refreshed?
Chances are, you could do with a good break from your many projects, assignments, or social functions. And as you get ready to take your break, you’ll have one less thing in your calendar to worry about or prepare for — not a bad deal, huh?
You get to take an objective view of your life.
When’s the last time you sat down and took a good hard look at how you are living your life? It’s really easy to look at a calendar or schedule and see your blocked off appointments, but are you actually spending your time in a way that matters to you?
Having a bunch of time on your hands allows you to view the rest of your life objectively. You get to take a step away from the hustle and bustle of the workweek and rote weekend schedule. You get to really look at yourself and what you’re doing through another set of lenses.
So, how are you spending your time? Is what you’re doing on a daily basis in line with your immediate goals? What personal or professional goals are you working towards? How are things coming along?
You’ll learn a lot when you ask yourself these questions. At the very least, you’ll get a refresher as to what is important to you…and what isn’t.
You get to be spontaneous.
Have you been longing for a bit more fun, spontaneity, creativity, and excitement in your days? Having nothing planned in your schedule can really allow you to mix things up. You can do whatever you so choose, without any prior planning or thought. Plus, you don’t have to wait for free time to arrive: it’s already here, available, and ready for you to use.
So, if you’ve been meaning to throw planning to the wind and just dive into the day, get into it! If you want to take a nap, take a nap. If you want to go out for a walk in the park with your spouse, do it. If you want to go to the movies, construct your very own scale model trebuchet, write in your journal, go to a day spa, fiddle around on your Pinterest boards, or just sit quietly and take in the moment, well, you could choose to do any one (or none) of those things. Above all, have fun and enjoy yourself!
How about you? Are you going to give yourself permission to schedule nothing in your calendar? How do you think this will help you rest and recover from the busyness of everyday life? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2014.