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Having a consistent schedule is the best way to reach your weekly goals, but getting out into the world and shaking things up is the best way to fuel your creativity.
So how do you compromise?
Whether you’re a freelancer looking for variety or a dedicated creative with a full-time job longing for some inspiration during your writing sessions, we all need to figure out this balance between schedule and spontaneity.
Here’s how you do just that:
1. Plan outings during the week
The easiest way to keep to a consistent schedule and still leave room for fun surprises and outings is simply to plan for when you’ll be out and about.
My “out of the house” days are usually Tuesday and Thursday. On those days, instead of taking time to read and relax in the morning, I just do my Bible study, make breakfast, and head out early. Since I plan for these days, I’m not trying to hastily rearrange my schedule when I go out to explore.
And just because you plan for the time doesn’t mean it can’t still be spontaneous. Which leads me to my next point…
2. Make quick decisions
To be spontaneous, sometimes you have to make split-second decisions to do or not do something. Maybe you’re on your way to your favourite café and you wonder if you should try the bakery that just opened instead. What do you do? If you sit there trying to decide, you’ll cause a traffic jam or get into a car accident.
Or say that you get an unexpected call from a friend who needs help with a bit of research. Do you drop what you’re doing and help? Do you say no? And how do you rearrange your schedule if you do say yes (which I’ll cover in the next point)?
Sometimes, the only choice is a quick decision, but these aren’t always easy. Actually, the less you know yourself, your principles, and what you believe, the harder these choices are. To become faster and better at decision-making, you have to get to know yourself. Otherwise, you might make a decision that you instantly regret.
Don’t be afraid to take a step out of your comfort zone, though. Talk to a kind stranger, buy a meal with a name you can’t pronounce, or explore a new place. These are the experiences that will power your creativity like nothing else!
3. Make your schedule flexible
I always advise against making a stringent schedule and assigning specific times to various tasks. It seems sensible, but it’s a recipe for disaster. If one item on the to-do list gets shifted because of something unexpected, the whole day gets thrown out of whack! Or if you decide that you really need to get out of the house so you can get around your writer’s block, where do you find the time in your carefully crafted schedule to do it?
Instead, consider having a list of what needs to be done that day and how long it’s going to take. No order, no specific times (though you can have a priority list of things that need to get done first if you need it). As you go throughout your day, you decide when and in what order to perform each task.
If that’s too nebulous for you, you can also give yourself a general time during which you need to complete things. For example, you can schedule: “Writing session – 3:00-5:00.” This doesn’t mean that you’ll write that entire time, but that your writing session will take place somewhere within that time.
The point is to give yourself room for the unexpected, because if there’s one thing you can predict about life, it’s that it’s unpredictable!
The key is to be flexible. It takes some practice to find your personal balance when it comes to your schedule vs. spontaneous moments, but once you nail it down, you’ll find your creativity running wild like never before and your productivity will soar.
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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.Donate