Process: *Schedule Subject to Change
Sometimes good intentions go up in smoke and evaporate leaving no trace of existence. The best made plans are subject to change. When this happens it almost always is unexpected. Nothing casts a shadow of inefficiency on a process than the *schedule subject to change factor.
I was first introduced to this concept at an early age. Growing up my family was heavily engaged in our church community. Each Sunday a bulletin was passed out with the order of service, announcements, contact information along with the current prayer list. Churches we would visit also had a bulletin. The common denominator; the bottom of every order of service page had an asterisk with the words *order of service subject to change at the urging of the Holy Spirit. When this would happen I was too young to fully understand everything that was going on in service but old enough to understand it meant we would be there longer than usual. Many years and experiences later I have learned any aspect of life is subject to change. A change of priorities, lack of time and resources along with unforeseen events all beg the question - is a routine worth the effort?
Think about it. A morning routine to get the day started. An evening routine to wind down and check off the to-do list. The time in between is meant to be productive with something to show for the gift of time each person is granted. Whether the day is spent in meetings, creating new contributions to the world or simply appreciating the environment with loved ones; when the day is over there is an expectation of having evidence of what was experienced or accomplished. Sometimes I set an agenda that covers every detail necessary to reach my goals. I schedule my days to maximize my time and productivity. And then disappointment sets in as I realize nothing on my schedule was completed, no goals on my agenda reached. Something weird happens and *schedule subject to change takes over. The frustrating part is the time when I’m unable to identify what threw everything off track. Knowing what went wrong helps get the process back to where it should be. Over the years I’ve learned my creative juices do not flow well with strict routines. I’ve questioned if its a matter of discipline, ambition, purpose or all three. I’ve come up with more questions than answers but the pattern that has become vividly clear is quite simple.
Yes I have a routine. It has a mind of its own and does not fit any strict schedule I try to force it to comply to. Oddly, this pattern created a lifestyle in itself. Once that brings me joy peace and productivity. Why it took me so long to recognize it I don’t know. I think because I’m at a crossroad in my life where I can learn how to leverage this routine to my benefit as I re-establish myself. It could also have something to do with all the articles on process and productivity that keep showing up in my social media feeds.
There are five things I do consistently each day in no particular order or format. No matter what changes in my day, these staples are ever present.
- I Journal - ideas, reflections, plans, anytime, any location
- I Pray - all day and night, anytime, any location
- I Listen to music and meditate - at some point, length of time varies
- I Read - anything interesting, blogs, books, articles, news...
- I Play - if only for 5 minutes
These five things are the only items that manage to escape the *schedule subject to change cloud. It screams loud and clear now that this is the foundation of my creative process. Embracing these practices has taught me that it is okay not to conform to the demands placed on us by the expectations of others. It is okay to let go of ideas and teachings that have caused anxiety and unhealthy routines that have dominated too much of my life. It is okay not to be overly concerned that people who care about me won’t understand my need to be free to just be me and do what I do. It is okay to push the over bearing forces around me out of my way so I can breathe freely. It it okay to appreciate my undefined routine as it creates the lifestyle I want and need to maximize my potential. Strict schedules are beneficial and serve a purpose. Detailed routines can shape who we are and how well we do what we do. It just is not for everyone.
If you find yourself haunted by the *schedule subject to change cloud, maybe you are one of the people who do not conform well and must march to the beat of your own drum. Delays will come. You may get off track, it’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up, just keep going. Find your rhythm. The freedom to be gained by embracing what makes your creative juices flow will only make living life more fruitful, fun and enjoyable.