Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Year of Doing Nothing (post 1.06)

One of my intentions regarding setting up my daily schedule is to reduce my "shoulds".  I've decided to experiment with making no more than one outside medical/health service appointment a week on my calendar.  I calculated the normal rate of doctor, dentist, hair, and personal service appointments and it looks like we have about 50 a year.  Since most of these appointments are scheduled several weeks in advance, I should be able to schedule them so that there is no more than one per week in my calendar. 

I'm not opposed to making exceptions, of course.  Exceptions will be made when it's apparent that something needs a higher priority.  But I'm going to look at scheduling appointments differently then the highly disciplined method I've been using since I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.  (A recent google search indicates that this book, written in 1989,  has sold over 15 million copies, so I imagine a few of you know what I'm talking about.  I was at Bank of Boston when this book was first published and it was a required course for all Senior Managers.  I loved getting more organized, particularly with the demands of my position, Director of Consumer Risk Management; a field where every request tends to be perceived as a high priority request.  I learned to take refuge in this organizational style.)
Fast forward to today, I'm realizing that it is disfunctional to continue scheduling appointments and deadlines on every day of the week, sometimes several a day.    It is still my habit to look at my calendar, see a blank spot, and fill it.  I'm realizing that there is a difference between feeling "productive" and actually doing the things that matter.  What are the things that matter to me now?  ....reflection, study, prayer and meditation, activities that deepen my practice.  These activities require a certain amount of down time.  I have not been scheduling enough time for these activities., or rather, I have not been leaving enough uninterrupted time on my schedule for these activities.  I could see that I needed to change this behavior.