The Benefits of Planning Your Time
Today, we will be talking about scheduling and planning your time. But before all of you introverted free-spirits snuff at the idea of being “boxed in”, hear me out, because this is a life skill that can benefit anyone’s life and wellbeing.
We all must stay organized in life, am I right? I mean, it is somewhat necessary to keep our lives in order so we don’t live in complete chaos. And you may think that as an introvert, you are safe from experiencing disorder. But even though we like to stay safe in our own little world, there are going to be times where we just have to go out and socialize, network and engage with people (our version of “chaos, right?). Families, friends, co-workers, doctors…it is inevitable that we will have to exchange a word or two with them every now and then.
So wouldn’t it be helpful to know exactly when you have an event coming up? Especially one that will take up a lot of time and precious energy? Penciling it in, whether it be on your phone, wall calendar or a planner, will allow you to prepare for these time sucks (however important they may be). This is not a habit meant to stifle you. It is to save you from stress and anxiety.
Here is what I like to do. When I see that I have a big to-do on my calendar, I schedule in some “buffer time”. That means I take a moment (or more) before and/or after the event so I can calm my nerves or decompress.
As for whether I choose to do this before or after, it depends on what I am doing. If I am going downtown -- which I hate, by the way -- I give myself more time to get ready, switch on my GPS (anticipating I am going to get lost), find parking, etc. If I am going to party with a crowd, I make sure I take some solo time afterwards to relax, read and soothe my anxiety.
The other good thing about scheduling is that you can use it to avoid double booking your time (two events? That sounds like a complete nightmare to me). If someone asks you to do something from 2-4pm, but your calendar is blocked off for a coffee date, grocery shopping or the gym, you can honestly say that you are busy. And remember, it is nothing to feel guilty about! We all have crap to do.
Speaking of crap to do, I also schedule in time to hustle. For example, I make sure that I set aside an hour or so to work on my book two days a week. And since, it is important to me, I know it will get done.
Also, to make sure I stay focused on whatever is I am doing, there are a few things I like to do. One, I stay off social media. Two, I turn my data off so I can’t mindlessly search the internet. These are huge things that can slow down whatever it is I am doing at the moment!
Don’t get me wrong. I am pretty loose with my schedule at times.
If I am working, but I notice it is beautiful out, I will shift some things around to go walk my dog (ah, the benefit of owning my own business!). But, the bottom line is, you can still live a carefree and creative life while being orderly and conscious about your time. And as an introvert, making sure things run as smoothly as possible is the name of the game!