Block scheduling and ticking everything off my To-Do list in one day is no longer an option. Choosing an introvert-friendly way to enjoy my daily activities, however, is.
Feeling guilty for not being able to block the schedule and do everything in one day?
Set guilt aside.
There’s a more friendly way to run your introverted life.
If you’re like me, chances are that you’re terrified of the block scheduling system.
Like most introverts, I’m proud of my creative and analytical mind, and I can’t just fit everything in a box. I need my space to breathe, to move, to expand, to adjust. Being deadly strict about my daily activities feels like killing all that freedom.
As a small business owner, I found many coaches pushing this method to succeed, which may work for some! Just NOT for me! Success is not about getting EVERYTHING done in a day…
… It’s about being present in one activity at a time without ignoring my energy levels; it’s about enjoying the people I work with or taking my time to soak in the results.
Intuitive planning is an introvert-friendly way to enjoy my daily activities.
However, there is one situation when I use the block scheduling method: when I have a firm deadline, and I want to make sure I fill in all the steps before the time expires. Because of my introverted mind, it’s easy to connect the dots and meet my deadlines, yet I get over-excited and deeply exhausted by the end of it. So it’s essential to take some time off to reconnect with my inner self and re-establish the balance.
Give yourself permission to start over, and run your pace
Life’s not a race to an end goal. Life is now.
Get rid of all toxic beliefs on what life should be, listen to your heart and notice your body energy levels instead. There’s so much to learn from that alone.
A quick story on that. I’ve been struggling with having a child for the past seven years. I had a baby girl two years ago; sadly, I lost her during the 5th month of pregnancy. The following year I was drowning in shame and guilt. It took me a year to overcome those feelings, learn how to show compassion to myself, take tiny steps to feel better every day, and give myself permission to start over.
The struggle is not a must, and freeing yourself is a choice. Just like I did over the last year, you can build your struggle-free, loving planning system too.
Here’s a friendly blueprint on how to get started with intuitive planning as an introvert
Kill the apps on the phone, laptop, and tablet
They are cluttering your mind and workspace. Quiet times are your best assets, so you don’t need notifications, alarms, or distractions to invade your privacy and mind. As an introvert, I found that a calm, low-stimulus environment helps me cope with the rushing thoughts and anxiety to be my best self every day.
Notice your energy levels
Notice when you have the best energy throughout the day, as well as when you feel exhausted. When the energy is up, do the brave activities first; when the energy is down, take time to reconnect and recharge. Give yourself space and don’t do important stuff when you’re tired since you’re prone to making poor decisions. It’s ok to wait for tomorrow.
Outline the weekly blueprint
Now that you know your best times during the day use these to outline a weekly blueprint. Decide on two or three directions to focus on every week. If your mind is full of clutter and can’t see the focus clearly, take a piece of paper and brain dump everything to clear your mind first. Put that paper aside and decide what’s the next thing that can move the needle in your life and business. Focus on that, and set aside all the distractions. Get this blueprint written on a paper planner or inside a digital planner on the iPad. To have fun, you can even sign your plans to certify that they align with your heart’s desire.
Review and celebrate everyday
Take 5 minutes in the evening to celebrate the win of the day and review your intentions for tomorrow. As an introvert, I find that writing these calms my mind and allows me to sleep better. Although this is an important step that brings peace of mind, don’t feel guilty if you skip it on some days.
Be gentile with yourself
The following day, start your morning by writing down 2-3 words to describe your day’s tasks, then put your planner aside and be present in your activities. If you’ve met your day’s intentions, celebrate with some extra me-time, like reading a good book, take a walk or talk with a friend. If you haven’t met your day’s intentions, that’s perfectly fine. Just ask yourself how important the unfinished task is, and how you can make it better tomorrow. I found myself outlining activities throughout the week and constantly adjusting them to fit my weekly focus. At the end of the week, my actions and results look quite different than what I thought they would look like.
What you should know before getting started
It takes time to get rid of external energy suckers and focus on yourself. You may bounce back, putting others’ priorities on top of your TODO list, and that’s ok. Remind yourself ever so gently that you are the most important person in your life and don’t need other people’s permission to focus on your heart’s desire. Keep in mind that, just as your plan isn’t anyone’s business, their plans are none of your business either.
Writing on paper can help get clarity in only a few minutes if done consistently. Some people spend an hour a day journaling about their plans, yet I found that planning for 5 minutes every morning while enjoying my first coffee works better for me.
And lastly, allow yourself for space to adjust and grow — the biggest fear as introverts when planning is that it confines us into boxes. It does not have to be that way. It’s ok to adapt your daily or weekly plans or even change your main focus when it no longer serves you. And you don’t have to explain the change to anyone other than to your own heart.
Next, check my post to discover the 7 key lessons I learned in my 3-year journey as a digital planner creator and how I’ve used them to create a 2022 digital planner for creative introverts and planning lovers.