Do you need some scheduled unscheduled time?

I’ll admit that I like my weekends to be fairly free and easy. Basically I don’t love a lot of rigid plans, so for anyone who has done the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that puts me very firmly in the “P” camp. And if you aren’t familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, don’t worry…..extreme “P” just refers to people who really love being unplanned and have the freedom to be spontaneous about what they would like to do next rather than having everything scheduled right down to the last detail.

So it just means that I get a wonderful feeling of energy waking up on a Sunday and knowing I have the whole day ahead of me to just let it roll when I feel like it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not a “do nothing and sit on the couch” kind of girl. Quite the contrary, I love getting up and doing some exercise, walking my dog, catching up with friends, going to the beach and the list goes on.

So it’s certainly not the activities that I shy away from, it’s having them scheduled way in advance that I try to avoid.

And anyone who has seen my work schedule knows that my days during the week certainly aren’t spent this way. It’s my job is to be in meetings coaching clients, facilitating workshops and presenting at conferences. And to add to that a lot of the work is done outside of Sydney (both domestic and international) so when you add in all those travel logistics, I’m basically scheduled to within an inch of my life from Monday to Friday.

Now just to clarify, I love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way. And I do believe one of the reasons I can do this is because I get to keep my weekends relatively unscheduled. Or in other words, I schedule them to be unscheduled, if you will. Scheduling unscheduled time is a great way for me to re-energise and thoroughly enjoy what I do during the week.

And I’m fully aware that I’m lucky to be able to do this. No small children for my partner and me to worry about – just our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is pretty happy just going with the flow. But we certainly see quite a few of our clients who prefer things a little more unplanned and then they throw a couple of kids into the equation and energy certainly gets drained far more quickly.

So if you fall into this category, it is very important that you think through ways to ensure you can still keep at least a few hours here and there where you can schedule some unscheduled time. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care and it’s not a luxury, it’s a basic need so that you can then help others.

Now obviously for people who relish a full diary and lots of plans – for example those on the opposite end of the Myers-Briggs type indicator spectrum (the “J”s), this is not going to be such a big concern for you. And if scheduling your weekends like your weeks give you more energy and lets you feel more in control then you should definitely keep doing that.

So no two human brains are built the same, which is why there is no one formula for high performance.

If you would like to help tapping into your own personal high performance formula, please do get in touch.