CJ Chilvers posted a short blurb in response to a recent article I wrote for The Sweet Setup, Getting More From Your Calendar. His main point is that I suffer from a common misconception about scheduling:
I hear this sentiment a lot, but I think this is the wrong way to approach scheduling (and, sorry David Sparks, I just hate the term hyper-scheduling). If your week is full of work blocks in your calendar, then it’s up to you to add blocks for play. In fact, if I don’t schedule fun things in my life, they never happen. Blank spaces on my calendar tend to make me revert to the couch, or worse, the couch + Twitter.
Schedule date nights, field trips with your kids, vacations, meditation time, photography hikes, real rest, or whatever defines play for you. Make them repeating entries so you don’t have to think about scheduling them in the future. These appointments are more important than work and should be treated at least as seriously on your calendar.
I have a couple of thoughts on this. First, we’re both right. His approach works for him, but not for me. Different personalities will approach their calendars in different ways. This rigid approach where all the slots are filled does lead me to a feeling of burnout after some time. Recurring calendar entries become like recurring tasks: something to ignore, eventually. I plan the things that are most important in my week on the calendar, but relish the freedom of leaving empty spots to fill as I see fit in the moment.
I do not have to schedule fun things: just the opposite. I have to schedule the hard work, the things that need focus. I naturally seek out the fun things.
Second, he’s actually not talking about scheduling. I thought he was at first, but once he mentions recurring calendar entries, I realized what he’s describing is more of a weekly routine. A rhythm to his days. It’s a lot like what Matt Perman advocates in What’s Best Next (he gets into this idea here, but fleshes it out more fully in his book)
Last, I should have prefaced my thoughts on The Sweet Setup with the comment that this hyper-scheduling will be the wrong approach for some people. But it will work fine for others.
Anyway, a conversation of this sort is what makes blogging great.