Balance and Routine: The Power Of Planning For An Awesome, Balanced Life
Oh, now you’ve done it!
Spent a whole weekend doing nothing and got to Sunday night expecting to feel like a well-rested, fully-recharged, version of you.
What you may have felt instead was tired, unaccomplished, and oddly uncomfortable in the pressure that loomed over the week ahead.
So why does the “not going to plan anything” weekend not feel as good as you thought it might?
The answer is science.
Well, sort of.
If you’ve ever decided not to make decisions or told someone “I don’t like to be bogged down by planning every minute of my day.” you might feel less than stellar when you get to the end of an unplanned day.
That’s because our minds love order and balance. Evolution has given us the gift of a prefrontal cortex (that part of our brain that loves to reason and make decisions). But too many decisions can tax it. And over time, those tiny decisions (Swiss or American, Hot or iced coffee? Which Wahlberg’s your favorite? And so on...) can overtax one of the most helpful parts of your brain to the point that it can’t pick American, iced coffee, or Marky Mark because it’s so fried. (Don’t worry if you picked a different Walhberg…Those are just our preferences…)
Now we’re not going to tell you not to take that last minute road trip with your best friends or not to make those last minute dinner plans with your partner or not to play hooky to surf some killer waves at lunch, but adding some structure to your life might mean that you find the balance to make those split-second decisions even more fun.
Plan To Have A Great Time
One way that might help you avoid this decision-fatigue is to plan. Yes, even our fun can be planned and it’s pretty freeing.
You might not feel stoked to really dig into planning.
Maybe you’ve tried it and it worked for a while but then you fell off.
Maybe you feel that things are too unpredictable in your work or personal life to put any structure there, or maybe you're just not even sure you need to plan because things are pretty good already.
Whatever is holding you back from a bit of structure, there are plenty of chances in your day to see how planning ahead can free you up. We’ll cover a few today so you can try it out for yourself.
Try Not Trying
First, if you’re apprehensive, just try not planning.
Yep, if you’re not sure you need to plan, give not planning a try. Our only suggestion is to try not planning anything for a day (or half of a day if you’re on the fence but strapped for time).
As you set off on your unplanned day, try to observe how you feel when you don’t plan anything. Really let the feelings come to you and allow yourself to experience and name them. Having more than a few racing thoughts about where to eat for lunch.
Allow yourself to call it “anxious” or “confused” or “overwhelmed”. Not sure what chores are going to get done today, allow yourself to feel “concerned” to feel the sinking of your shoulders or the churning of your stomach. When we sit with the feelings that accompany our decision not to plan we begin to realize just how uncomfortable it can be and just how much of a drain on our mental (and physical) energy it can be.
Start Small And See How It Feels
Next, try adding some general structure, like time blocking
Once you decide that a little structure might help you to feel better, it might be tempting to plan out your Google Calendar into 15-minute chunks for the next six or sixty months.
Resist the urge.
It might be helpful to start smaller. Make a list of the areas of your life where you spend your time or complete activities.
Think of these like time categories or time Tupperware containers where you’ll store all your “to do’s” and “gotta get it done” tasks. Maybe you have a Family Time, Work Time, Self-Care Time, and Friend Time container set.
Or maybe it makes more sense to organize by Me, Others, Work to keep it even simpler. Whatever your categories are, be sure they can grow with you as you grow and change.
Having a “yoga class” container or having an “Exercise” time container may be a matter of preference but you will need to decide what makes the most sense for you.
Redo Your To-Do List
Once you know your containers, just do a brain dump of everything you need to get done. Include routine tasks (take out the trash, wash hair, drive kids to school, client meetings) and the “coming soon” one-off tasks that you know are on your agenda (Meet Mike for breakfast, go see grandma, grab drinks in NYC with your friends...).
After that put a time commitment next to each thing.
Be sure to include any prep time or travel time too. So, if it’s going to take an hour to drive to see your grandmother, three hours to chat and hang out, and an hour to drive home, then that’s 5 hours.
Once everything is down on paper (or safely nestled in its own doc file), you know what the time requirement will be, and it's in its proper bucket, you’re ready to transfer it.
Calendar Curious? Try Putting It All Together
Once you know your containers you can take to either a digital or paper calendar (some of us do both) and put everything into your calendar.
Respect Your Calendar And Enjoy The Life You Create
Finally, respect your plan and check in often
The last part of adding planning to your life is to respect your plan and check in on whether it still fits you as often as you need to.
When you respect your plan you remove the decision-overload because you’ve made the decision to do something beforehand. You’ve decided that something is important enough to be on your calendar and you took the time to put it there.
This means your mind will have more time to be in the present moment, to create, and to serve you well.
When you respect your time and honor your plan you bring balance into your life in a truly meaningful way. When you check in with your calendar and plan, you give yourself a chance to decide if your values are still represented in the things you’re spending time on.
The result of planning is that you have more time for living a life that aligns with your values and balances your obligations, joys, and spirit as it does.
Fuel Your Adventure
Wave Of Balance supplements can fit into any plan you might create for yourself. Using our supplements is an easy and routine way to give your body some awesome nutritious support every day.
What’s All This Talk About Moringa? What Is Moringa? What’s Moringa Good For?
Want to learn more about Wave Of Balance’s Moringa Supplement benefits? Head over to this page.
If you’re ready to put us on your calendar each day we invite you to check out our line of products here.