Everyone wants to be more organized, but no one more than a freelancer! We have the chore of not only being our own boss, the marketer, the bookkeeper, the job searcher but during all this, if we don’t stay organized, it can be disastrous…and this can be an especially difficult task for creative people. So, I’ve invited my friend Alisandra Wederich to share helpful information with us on the concept of organization through “unscheduling”. Read on….
Do you (realistically) know much time you have available in a given day?
Before you answer, take a look at the image below. Does your calendar looks like the one on the left or the right?
This view on the left is a typical daily schedule listing meetings with other people. The view on the right is what Neil Fiore in his book, The Now Habit, calls an “Unschedule.” It’s a list of activities that most people are ALREADY DOING, but don’t take into account. Even if they’re not tracked, these tasks still take time to perform, impacting our actual availability on any given day.
Building a personal “Unschedule” provides you with a highly accurate assessment of your free time.
1. Realistic Time Assessment. Although building an unschedule can initially be stressful, it’s highly worthwhile to have a realistic understanding of your time. A realistic time assessment means the ability to plan based on your true availability. Instead of underestimating your available time and overbooking yourself, you can provide timelines that work for you instead of against you.
2. Motivation, Focus and Efficiency. Reinforcing the knowledge that your time is limited through an unschedule means an increase in valuing the time that you have. This often helps to improve focus and efficiency because it creates mindfulness around how your time is truly spent. Being distracted by email or social media notifications is a loss of valuable time, and turning those notifications off will provide you with an additional boost of focus and efficiency.
3. Time Value and Appreciation. If your time is constrained, you can be sure that the time of others is constrained as well. This means doing your part to make sure that the time you need from others is spent wisely so they are less impacted by your schedule. Alternatively, sharing your unscheduling habits with people you work with gives them a better appreciation of your time as well as their own, improving team culture and collaboration efforts.
Do It For Yourself
These instructions will work for any calendar application you use. Remember to be realistic when you’re putting these activities in.
1. Open your work calendar and/or your personal calendar.
2. Create recurring calendar entries for all your typical activities for both the weekdays and weekends.
Here are some examples that I’ve frequently seen used:
– Wake Up + Get Ready – Breakfast
– Walk Dog – Take Kids to School – Travel (To Work/Home) – Lunch – Email – Prepare Art Supplies
– Clean Up – Work Out
– Date Night – Wind Down + Sleep
Looking for more productivity tips?
Follow Double Gemini on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or Tumblr or visit our website at http://www.doublegemini.com and sign up for our free newsletter! Hope you found value in this article. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments at Alisandra@doublegemini.com.
About Double Gemini
Double Gemini is a productivity consulting and workshop firm that specializes in email, meeting, and project productivity. Our services transform team cultures and help people work better by reducing stress and increasing efficiency. Learn more about us by visiting www.doublegemini.com
Alisandra Wederich is the Creative Director of productivity start up Double Gemini in NYC, the founder and manager for NJ Artists and a professional artist going by the pseudonym Altered Aesthetic. Offering creative solutions from an artistic mind, Alisandra’s background in K-12 visual arts education has developed her natural communication skills, enabling her to find unique solutions in situations of conflict. With a history of professional multi-tasking, and constant focus on improving natural workflows in any environment, she finds joy in bringing increased productivity and efficiency to artists, clients, and everyone else she meets. She’s thrilled to be able to offer this Unschedule article and strongly encourages anyone seeking further productivity tips to get in touch with her on LinkedIn.