Irregular Intentionality: Making Sense Of Our Busy Lives
Blogging has been tough for me for a while. In truth, for nearly a year. Even though I had a break which was meant to help, on reflection I didn’t use that break as effectively as the one I had in 2014.
The recurrence of this issue though, has shown this problem was far deeper.
And I have absolutely no doubt what the real problem is.
It’s an issue with time management. An issue which many of us struggle with, and has become a major issue for me. I’m simply not creating enough space in my life to cultivate the habits, like free-writing, which help me find my voice & inspiration.
And I need to do something about it, or I’m not going to achieve what I’m capable of. Because if we don’t manage our time effectively, we won’t realise our full potential – in any area of life.
I really enjoy creating short, raw, honest pieces to share with people. I’m loving podcasting. I’m having a great time editing a magazine for the first time. I get a huge buzz from coaching writers. And I absolutely love working on books. All of these things, I enjoy, I’m good at and want to keep doing. Maybe even make my living from one or two of them one day.
And even if I don’t, I’ll still do most of them, and still enjoy it.
So basically, it doesn’t feel right to stop doing any of these things. These are all callings. And I love the work.
But here’s the problem. I have other obligations – to myself and to others. I have a day job. Also, like most of us, I have friends, I have family, I have responsibilities. And these are all really important.
Also important, is rest. Health. Taking care of myself. Having a regular sabbath. In particular, as an introvert with a medical condition which can be triggered by tiredness and stress, I need alone down time, to slow down and rest.
And I need to make time to read, to learn, to grow, to educate myself. I need to exercise my mind, body and soul.
Finally, of course, there’s my faith – which everything else revolves around.
A lot of life, I simply can’t have a regular pattern for. I can’t have set days to see friends or family. These will change from week to week. And that’s simply how life is – for me, and for many of us.
But our bodies have a rhythm and they like regular patterns. And in some areas of life, we need that.
So how to balance the randomness of life, with having a regular pattern and rhythm?
I’m beginning to think the way to tackle this is flexible, intentional, planning.
How To Be Irregularly Intentional
What do I mean?
Well, first I figure out how much time I need to devote to my callings, to self-care, to relationships, and everything else I mentioned. Then I look at the events I have in my diary for that coming week.
Then, I can take some time in advance of a coming week, to plan ahead. And around the changeable events, I can ‘book in’ time for working on my book, working on blog posts or podcasts, or other work, and be more intentional about that work.
Of course, there are some regular patterns I can plan for. Sleeping. Eating. My job. Church. Home group. These tend to be pretty regular.
Other things – writing my book, writing/recording blog posts or podcasts, magazine editing, can be moved around each week depending on when I’m seeing my family or friends.
Hopefully, doing this will give me control of my day to day life, stop me feel overwhelmed, and create more space in my life for rest. Which in turn will give me more energy to create the work I was born to make.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, maybe you should try this. Take the irregular and regular commitments which are important, figure out your other priorities, and then book time in your diary to keep those, around those commitments.
I can’t guarantee it will work. But I do know even trying to be intentional about life, is better than continuing to be overwhelmed by it. (you can tweet that)
We can be more intentional in all areas of our life – even the ones which can be spontaneous and last minute. And hopefully, that will make the chaos life can be a whole lot more easy to manage. And help us live the life we were born to live.
Are you with me?
Question for Reflection:
How can you be more intentional about your life?
Let me know in the comments below!
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(Picture Sources: Flickr.com / imore.com)