I hate routine, I’m living two lives at the same time. In one sense, I am extremely well-organized and enjoy order and regularity. My energies and emotions are in charge of each other.
I desire structure, yet I can’t seem to stick to one. Even if it’s something I’ve created myself.
You might definitely empathise if you identify as a Rebel, one of author Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies.
For years, I’ve struggled with both sides of myself, attempting to burst free or rein myself in depending on the occasion. A never-ending loop.
Instead, I strive to provide what both versions of myself (I?) require. I have a regimen that allows me to be as flexible as possible.
In this piece, I’ll describe how I do it, maybe providing some useful suggestions that you can use to your own situation.
I hate routine. When you despise regularity, how do you plan?
Establish objectives: Why do you wish to improve your time management skills?
It’s difficult for me to stay motivated if I don’t have a goal or purpose in mind. I need to know why I’m doing what I’m doing. Why does it matter?
In this situation, the objective is to strive harder to keep work and personal life distinct. I want my weekends back, and I want a three-day weekend even more.
I enjoy having the freedom to choose when and for how long I work, but if I want to take three days off each week, I need a routine. I’ll go berserk if I don’t have a defined objective or boundaries in place. I’m going to put in a lot of effort.
Isn’t there always something else to do?
I don’t have children, but I do have a partner – my closest friend — with whom I like spending meaningful time.
I’m not going to let work get in the way of it any more.
I, too, want my personal time back.
Maybe you’ve imagined your dream week as well.
Perhaps it’s not so much about doing less as it is about being more efficient with the time you have.
Is it possible for you to create one clear, significant objective that will help you stay on track? What do you want to change about the way you manage your time, and why do you want to alter it?
Make a detailed plan: What are the absolute musts?
You can’t take use of the flexibility unless you know exactly what has to be done and when.
For client projects as well as my personal goals, I generally have a three-month framework. Sometimes as Trello or Notion lists and tasks, or as a document or spreadsheet.
I handle a combination of retainer and project work, and each client’s situation is unique. My customers are also freelancers. We collaborate in a flexible manner, but always with a strategy in mind.
All of this is organised in a simple calendar (DIY-ed in a Google spreadsheet). It offers me an idea of what’s coming up for clients and my company in the next three months.
I then plan a week (or two at a time) in depth by time-blocking particular activities in my calendar, including client work and important company chores planned out in advance.
And I divide down tasks into small parts and prioritise them depending on client agreements.
I hate routine, Allow for lots of flexibility.
That timetable can appear restrictive to someone who can’t stick to a schedule.
It feels virtually impossible to me right now. And believe me when I say that I tried. I’ve made an effort.
Now, as the week progresses, I take each day as it comes and work according to how I feel on that particular day. I keep to the duties I set for that day or week, but I rearrange them.
It makes no difference when I work; all that matters is that it is between Monday and Thursday. I’d like to be able to take a solid three-day break as often as possible, with no deadlines or must-dos looming.
Define your limits: how much is enough right now?
Perhaps you’ll notice some glaring flaws in my strategy. What time of day do I spend on social media? What am I doing to meet new people and put myself out there?
I’m not doing any of those things right now, in September 2020, as I write this. I work approximately 20-25 hours each week and make more money than I ever did as an employee. I haven’t gained much more, but I have gained a significant amount of time.
Read also: I hate being around people