You have more time than you think to work toward the life you want. Even without sacrificing sleep like I regularly do. When I tell people my first alarm goes off at 3:40AM, they cringe in agony. I cringe in defeat when I don’t get that solid 2 hours in the morning for my work. I’m not a morning person. I just know if not now, then when? Here’s how I’ve maintained this schedule since April:
My calendar is split up into 3 parts: morning, afternoon, and evening.
- Each of these time slots are filled in by a particular color:
- Green means I used part or all of that time working toward my goals. Primarily, writing or brainstorming.
- Gray was downtime, necessary chore, or unproductive time not spent working toward my goals.
- Red is an estimated task, meeting, or duty that should help me toward my goals in some capacity.
- Orange is an estimated task that probably won’t directly contribute toward my goals.
The goal seems like you should fill in as much green as possible, right?
That was my first point of refinement with the calendar. Not everything you do in life contributes to what you want in life. Let’s say you’d like to become a professional artist and that you’ve dreamed of this goal since you could first hold a pencil. Shouldn’t you spend every waking moment working toward that goal? Shouldn’t that take priority over rest, wasting time with acquaintances, paying bills, laundry, going to work, or other activities?
Not particularly… those all-gray days were the equivalent of minor burnouts.
Balance is key. While I enjoy having entirely productive days, where I spent most of the day working toward the life I want, I’m also realistic. I can function on 6 hours of sleep for only so many days before I find myself awake after sleeping 12 hours. Downtime with acquaintances is nice and occasionally they’ve revealed good ideas. Bills, laundry, and my current career don’t directly contribute to the life I want. They’re still important duties.
This calendar has led me to a couple revelations that have helped improve my life.
The calendar started off much more gray than it concluded. This was me reprioritizing my time. Before uploading content daily, which more accurately is to say ‘writing as much as I can, as often as I can, and maybe finishing multiple pieces of writing in one day, then scheduling uploads to appear super productive,’ I’d waste a lot of time. If I had the day off, I’d be productive for maybe 30 minutes… if that? Now?
That wasted time lives on my calendar past that forgotten day.
You don’t have to sacrifice any sleep to try out this schedule. You don’t have to forego friendships or recreation to get a calendar and give this process a go. While this schedule might just be my take on the Seinfeld Calendar, it’s been helpful for me to visually see what hasn’t been helpful to my goals.
Maybe it’ll be helpful for you?