Monday, March 25, 2013

Don't Be Thrown Off by Hiccups

Things only slow you down if you let them. 

I was all pumped for my adjusted "schedule" today (more about that later), and I woke up to find about 6-7 inches of snow outside!  In late March, this is rare for Indiana.  In fact, the weather guy said it's the 4th snowiest March in Indiana history.  And one of the top (I think tied for first) as far as snowfall on March 24th/25th.   

My initial reaction was dread and frustration.  I had this plan to go work out, and then work on marketing my books ("Marketing Monday" I coined it).  When I saw the snow, I thought, "Well, I guess my plan is out the window." 


It's not like I'm snowed in or anything.  Stuff will always pop up in life that you don't expect, or that are worse than you expected.  It's easy to throw your hands up and sink down into the couch and do nothing. 

OR you can get out there and make the most of whatever has showed up.  Remember, it's happening the way it is for a reason.  For YOUR best interest! 


Maybe the latest hiccup is to remind you how much you want whatever it is.  To give you an opportunity to show the Universe, and yourself, that no matter what comes up, you're not giving up.

I realize this may be a bit dramatic for a little snow.  It's really not that bad.  But it's interesting how sometimes the smallest things can throw us off.

I actually did go out and follow the schedule I set for myself for this morning (I started this blog, then needed to go, and am now back home, finishing it).  And you know, the roads weren't bad at all.  I had been watching the news in the morning, trying to decide if I should venture out.  The reporters talked about how deep the snow was, how it was still falling, how slow traffic was moving, how slick certain spots were.  All the schools in my area are closed for today as well. 

I had half a notion to just listen to the reporters and stay inside.  But I actually wanted to go work out.  I'm liking the groove I'm in right now and did not want some snow to force me out of it.  I also had some errands I wanted to get done today (I'm mailing off my broken flash drive to see if this company can fix it and entering my two novels in a writing contest!).  When I was thinking about scrapping those plans and staying in, I felt that sinking feeling.  Like my spirit was disappointed.


So I looked out my front window at the streets I can see from my house and decided it didn't look too bad.  Sure enough, I had no problems at all. 

Take this as a lesson to listen to your gut, and believe your own eyes.  Had I listened to the news reporters, I would surely have stayed in.  But I'm glad I didn't! 

So about my "adjusted schedule" I made today...  I actually liked having somewhat of a structure last week with my schedule.  Something in writing.  A plan.  Last night I decided to make day-to-day schedules for myself (as long as I find it working for me). 

This time I wasn't nearly as detailed.  I used a little square paper and just blocked in time chunks and what I wanted to accomplish.  It looked something like this:
6-8:  Up, blog, eat
8:00:  Grandma's breakfast
8:30-9:30:  work out
9:45:  grocery shopping
10:15:  post office
10:45:  more grocery shopping (second store)
11:30:  Grandma's lunch
12:00:  Home, eat
1-2:  writing/"Marketing Monday"
3-7:  work at the florist

That's it.  Much less detailed and specific than what I drew up last week.  But just the act of writing down what I want to get done, and time frames in which to do it in, sets my mind at ease. 

For one, it gets the tasks out of my head, so I don't I have to try to remember what I wanted to get done. 
And two, I see that I do, in fact, have time to do it (barring any major unexpected slow-up).

I also like making the schedules the day before, instead of at the start of the week.  Over the course of a week stuff tends to pop up.  And sometimes it's things that you actually want and need to do.  So you find yourself (or I found myself) with a schedule that I wanted to stick to, but these other tasks that needed attention.  It kinda stressed me out. 

This way I feel I have the best of both worlds.  I have a plan for the day to help keep me focused and remind me what my priorities are.  But it's more flexible.  And it's just for today.  Should something change today, or pop up for tomorrow, I can and will make tomorrow's schedule accordingly. 

I also started color coding.  That may be a little too far for some of you, but it helps me.  Blue is for working out.  Pink is for writing.  Yellow is for outside work (florist, my grandma).  And green is free, open time. 

I started highlighting in my big planner, and also on my day-to-day written schedules.  I love it!  I can easily look and see three blues, for example in the week.  In one glance I can see if my week is heavier in yellow than pink.  Indicating, perhaps, I need to cut back on the florist hours and ramp up my writing time. 

The colors don't change anything, they just make it more obvious.  It's easier to ignore the fact that I'm taking on more hours at the florist, and picking up shifts when other employees can't work, and pushing my writing time to the back burner.  But when it's highlighted in yellow and pink, I see see straight away where my time is going.  And then it's up to me to adjust my schedule to match my priorities.

I'm liking my new plan of attack.  I definitely feel more aligned with my priorities.  And I'm taking back control of my time.         


Additional Quotes:

                                      (I just thought that one was funny.)  :)

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