You heard that right, Chievers, I ditched my weekly planner.
I had a beautiful weekly planner that I’d been using for 2 years, and now, I just stopped.
The first reaction of one of my clients was: “But Maya, your whole course on scheduling … Was it all for nothing?”
Of course not.
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In this blog post, let me explain a bit more about:
I also created a cheat sheet for you with 20 Affirmations & Journal Prompts To Go With The Flow & Embrace Spontaneity:
Is it better to plan or go with the flow? Find your balance between planning and spontaneity with these 20 affirmations and journal prompts to go with the flow and embrace spontaneity.
As a kid, I would even create a timetable for my free days and fill it up with activities: homework, playtime, family time …
‘Time Blocking’ wasn’t even a hype yet, and I was already time blocking my days, inspired by my own natural talent for planning and organizing.
As a student, I had no problem with planning out my learning content over the whole year so that I didn’t have to do any last-minute late-night studying before the exams. 500 words of French vocabulary? Ok, let me study 30 words per week for the next 17 weeks and plan 3 moments of full revision of what I’ve learned so far. Easy peasy.
When I got my first job as a volunteer coordinator in Cusco, Peru, I had no schedule, no office, and my boss was on the other side of the world. I didn’t even have to count my hours, as long as the work got done. Again, for me: easy peasy.
2 years ago I started my own business, I quit my part-time job and decided to lower my expenses drastically so that I wouldn’t need a job and I could spend all my time and energy on building my business. I bought myself a nice desk, I woke up every day at the same time, and I was fully committed to my working hours (at home) just like you would in an actual office. Easy peasy.
I started struggling a couple of months ago.
I’m a stubborn Taurus, and I just continued using the methods that always worked well for me: wake up early, work from 7 am to 1 pm fully on my business, and then focus on friendships, networking, rehearsals, …
First of all, I just couldn’t wake up. My body simply didn’t want to.
After that, I struggled with my morning routine.
And then, I worked for an hour and my mind already got distracted.
What was HAPPENING to me???
My body was longing for sleeping in, my mind kept wandering, my working hours got blurry ...
Then, the changes started happening:
It wasn’t my weekly planner, but my Instagram that received a transformation first.
As an online business owner, you constantly get taught that you need to have a content calendar, write all your content for the month in one day and use a scheduler, be consistent with when and how often you’re posting, show your whole life on Instagram Stories all the time, offer your services, end each post with a CTA (Call To Action), DM (or stalk) random people you don’t know who could become clients, etc etc …
I told a friend of mine, who’s also a certified coach in Functional Medicine, that I was feeling fed up with content calendars and showing my breakfast on Instagram.
She said: “Ooh, I don’t use Instagram, but I never thought you’d need a content calendar. I thought it was just a place for those moments of: “Ooh, I have this great inspiration, let me go and share it on Instagram!” …
I sat there, speechless …
OF COURSE Instagram is a place to share moments of inspiration! What had I been thinking?? Planning out my very spontaneous inspiration?
Two days after our call, I read in a business book: “Instagram is for showing people who you are. Don’t try to sell anything. They’ll go to your website to learn about your services, and to your Instagram to learn about YOU.”
So I ditched my content calendar, I haven’t shared anything in 10 days now, and that is totally fine.
I know this is a luxury I have as an entrepreneur that not all of us can start doing, but I ditched my alarm.
Every morning, I was struggling. Trying to wake up early as always, but my body started protesting.
The alarm became a part of my dream, I would turn it off without realizing it, and woke up 2 hours later than usual, frustrated as hell.
Then, I booked myself an Astrology session.
Yes, I did. I am a Certified Astrologer myself, but never had I gifted myself a session from another Astrologer. So a month before my birthday, I decided to give myself an early birthday gift.
In summary: she helped me accept what had been going on inside of me for a while: a wave of spontaneity where planning and scheduling just weren’t welcome.
I must admit I screamed when she said: “This wave will continue until April 2023.” The Virgo Ascendant in me went like: a whole YEAAAR!!???
She said: “This is a time for inspiration, new ideas, shifts. Don’t set any alarms. Don’t try to schedule your work. Don’t look at the time. Pay close attention to your dreams, keep an ideas journal close by, watch movies that don’t make any sense like Alice In Wonderland. This year might seem like a very non-productive year, but in a year you’ll look back and see that the changes you’ve made were of big impact and importance.”
And so I finally allowed myself to sleep in, to dream, to embrace inspiration instead of fighting against it in my decisiveness to stay productive.
Sometimes you just need another person to say what you already know deep down but you just couldn’t embrace it. Often it’s a therapist or a coach. In my case, it was my Astrology teacher Wendy Stacy.
Normally, I would plan my week beforehand in my weekly planner, and update it every day filling up the time slots and checking off my priority list for the week.
Lately, I had been filling out my weekly planner AFTER the week was over just because I didn’t want it to be empty and I didn’t want to fall behind …
When you think about it … I was being ridiculous.
About 6 months ago, I switched from my weekly planner to my Trello board. And still, I couldn’t let go of my old method. So I found myself using my iCal for appointments, my Trello for to-do’s for every day, and my weekly planner for … I don’t know, doing what I was already doing in iCal and Trello, really.
So I thanked my weekly planner for all it had given me so far, and kindly put it away. Away from my desk.
This is how I am going about my days right now:
And I watched Alice In Wonderland, in four-fold actually: a theater play, the two movies with Johnny Depp, and the Disney movie.
After watching the Netflix series Self-Made and the day after the movie about Steve Jobs, I got the most exciting inspiration and I couldn’t stop writing it out until 2 am.
Those are the moments I missed. Those moments of pure inspiration and creativity that just don’t let you go to sleep until you’ve written it down somewhere.
And that’s what my wave of inspiration and spontaneity is about.
I am not saying you should ditch your weekly planner forever.
I am not saying you should become lazy, sleep until noon, and watch movies all the time.
What I am saying, is that there are times for spontaneity, and times for planning. And the way to juggle the two is to think in waves.
We are not made for 24/7 whole-year-round go-go-go productivity. We are humans, not superhumans.
As much as we’d like to be productive all the time, just to feel like we’re being ‘useful’ with our time, this is an expectation of ourselves that is so far away from reality.
Everything in nature lives in seasons, in waves, in cycles. Nature is not linear. We are not linear.
Your energy levels go up and down.
Your day goes from sunlight to nighttime.
Your mood feels different every day.
Your mind, your body, your soul … They need waves of full-on activity and productivity, and waves of downtime, self-reflection, inspiration.
There are three kinds of waves:
When you’re in a wave of spontaneity:
Look at your own life and ask yourself: what wave am I in right now?
What do I need more of? Spontaneity or planning?
How can you honor both sides of the spectrum and truly listen to your body and your intuition to figure out what it is you truly need right now?
And with that, my dear Chievers, I hope you got inspired by my story and you’re ready to accept not only your need for productivity, but also your deeper need for relaxation, inspiration, and spontaneity.
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