When I over-schedule myself and think that I can cram productive activity into every waking minute I find myself feeling tyrannized by my calendar. I have a constant, nagging feeling that I’m ‘off track’ and not doing enough. I can’t enjoy the spontaneous moments and events that life brings and find myself snapping at my husband.
There is a great German word for this kind of thing: Selberschuld. The literal translation is ‘self-guilt’, what it means practically is: It’s your own damn fault.
And it is. Each week I have to remind myself anew to leave some ‘air’ in my calendar. I am only one person (for now) and it is just going to take time to get all the things done that I want to accomplish.
The ironic thing about all of this, is that I find it helps me to be more productive. One way to get your inner resistance monster into high-gear is to create an over-managed, over-scheduled, unrealistic plan.
When I try and do one to two really important tasks a day and then a little maintenance stuff, I find I’m much more relaxed and that I end up doing stuff that I wanted to do but didn’t plan for anyway.
Funnily enough, I find the work I do in the times when it isn’t on the ‘official plan’ is actually fun because there is no ‘I have to’ feeling associated with it.
I’m (slowly) learning to get just enough of the ‘must do’ stuff on my calendar, but allowing space for work to be fun or for no work at all. I’ve got a suspicion that this is a big part of learning the art of working joyfully, not just efficiently.