A flexible schedule requires rigid principles, a bright and defined vision, a dependence/confidence upon yourself, and an open heart and mind.
There is perhaps no more seemingly paradoxical self-management question to ask than how to maintain a flexible schedule. It may seem contradictory to be productive and focused yet, at the same time, allow yourself flexibility in the way in which you manage your day-to-day. These are, in fact, not competing for ideas whatsoever. When we can find more alignment with our bodies' natural flow, a relatively flexible schedule does begin to reveal itself. The problem in doing this is many people have not permitted themselves to, nor have they genuinely realized that—in many cases—it creates more growth opportunities, so long as we stay focused on the fundamental things we are creating and not the superficial ones.
Yes, this terminology comes from the motion pictures' version of Atlas Shrugged. Although I don't subscribe to all of objectivism and primary positions, this idea of principles-first is something that resonates with me. I've seen it have profound effects as it relates to day-to-day management. Principles are different from priorities in that priorities can change more easefully, while laws are more foundational. Principles guide perspective and interpretation, while preferences govern action. So, while priorities play a role in WHAT and WHEN to do something, principles inform more qualitatively WHY and HOW something is done. It is the WHY and the HOW that one must establish when considering integrating a more flexible schedule.
What do you KNOW to be true about yourself, and specifically about your purpose? Are you connected to that purpose in the decisions that you make throughout the day? In the scheduling of your days? Having a flexible schedule—for me—is not about having the ability to do whatever I want whenever I want. It is more about allowing opportunities to be more easily fulfilled due to the infrastructure of grace being applied to my daily schedule. Getting in touch with your service's purpose and the quality/quantity of your work gives rise to flexibility.
Get clear on your vision for yourself and continually bring it into the now. While principles are foundational and seemingly operate in the background of your awareness, the concept that you have for yourself, and your business is something that you consistently bring forth in your creative process. "How does this activity fit the vision?" is the question to ask yourself.
A flexible schedule is a demonstration of dependence/confidence upon yourself. Can you allow yourself less preparation time for meetings/presentations? Do you believe that you possess the abilities to do your work with ease and grace and in a way that both is and appears effortless? If not, a flexible schedule may not be really what you are looking for other than to allow yourself to audit your beliefs about yourself. On the spectrum of self-reliance to complete dependency upon others, the shift to a flexible (AND PRODUCTIVE) schedule requires the perspective that everything that you create comes from within you. If you hold the belief—even subconsciously—that you must rely on others to fulfill your desires, you are not fully integrating the truth that you create your reality. Yes, of course, there is a co-creation, and nothing happens in a vacuum. However, a successful flexible schedule is the idea of allowing opportunities to flow THROUGH you, not be controlled BY you.
This leads to the state of being one ideally would have in living this crazy western lifestyle while being both successful and flexible - an open heart and mind. The benefits of a flexible schedule are redeemed when the person is accessible in all ways. Flexibility in our physical bodies is the idea of our muscles being relaxed—not tensed—and allowing life-force energy to express itself inward to outward. It sees life as an experience, not as an identity. Our schedule is something that is NOT who we are, yet it is something that we live out. Particularly right now, with as much change that is happening on the earth—driven by the shift in human consciousness—there has never been a better time to let go of a little control in our day to day lives. Opportunities for growth are just as abundant as the abundance of the perspective that we are given. The more moments throughout our day where we are connecting to ourselves through our hearts that we can have, the more clarity we will experience. As we gain more clarity, our vision gets refined, and our experience will present to us more opportunities to go in that direction. The open mind and heart support the experience of having a flexible schedule, and the flexible schedule provides space for that opportunity to be integrated.
Flexible schedules can be anything that you feel is appropriate for you. One former client of mine blocked off 3 hours in the middle of every day—without exception—for free time. This was his version of a flexible schedule—scheduling flexibility. While he eventually adapted into a more autonomous, flowing means of taking on appointments and meetings, this was a catalyst. Wherever you are in your perception of how "flexible" your schedule is, remember that it is YOU that is creating it. If you shift your perspective, that which you create will HAVE to change. Today, audit your schedule to determine a trackable way to hold yourself accountable for experiencing more flexibility.
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