Updated: Sep 19, 2020
You receive a last-minute invite for a coffee one weekend from a friend. What is your immediate first thought?
“My schedule is full so unfortunately there is just no way I’ll be able to make it.”
“It would be great to see them and catch up, let me see if I can move my plans around a little to make it happen”
I read an article recently where the topic was around how organised people can ultimately lose flexibility in their lives and become somewhat akin to machines; running everything to a strict schedule.
Although my first thought was “but machines are super-efficient, what’s wrong with that?!”, it was definitely a compelling read. It was interesting to hear a different perspective on something that I’m very passionate about and it did leave me pondering for a while (even though I didn’t have pondering scheduled into my day… flexible or what ‘ey!).
In all seriousness, even though organisation is an extremely helpful skill to have, it’s also good to remember that as with anything taken to an extreme, it can have some downsides to which I want to try and help you avoid where possible - one of those being a possible reduction in flexibility.
The way I look at it, each and every day we have lots of different pulls on our time and lots of things that we are responsible for. If we don’t have a plan, these things can build up and lead to serious feelings of overwhelm with us not knowing in which direction to turn first. Having structure, for me, reduces these negative feelings and gives me a sense of calm and control. I appreciate it doesn’t work for everyone, but for some, it can be a total lifesaver.
All of us have tasks that have to be done without fail, that are non-negotiable and are must-dos in our schedules each week. They will be different for everyone but some examples may be - going to work, caring for a relative, or dropping the kids off at school
Everything not on the 'must-do' list, is a matter of prioritisation and choice for us as individuals. These include things that need to be done, but don’t have a strict deadline, as well as things which are nice to do and can have a big impact on our overall well being, such as seeing friends, exercise, hobbies, self-care, etc.
If you look at what you have on for the next 7 days, you already know the things you have to do. By putting the other things you want to do or want to achieve into priority order, it means you have much more chance of getting them done than if you go into the week without any kind of a plan at all.
I honestly think you can have your cake and eat it when it comes to organisation as ultimately it gives you the ability to be MORE flexible, yep, more flexible, not less.
Going back to the initial question I asked, about a friend contacting you for an impromptu catch up - how would you answer?
Whether you are an organised person or not, the answer might well be no. We may already have something scheduled that must get done or is unable to be moved.
If you have plans that could in theory be moved but you decide they still take priority, then so be it. It doesn’t make you inflexible, it means you have made an informed decision as to what is best for you.
If meeting your friend, having a good chin-wag and catch up will benefit you more than what you were planning to do, then the power is in your hands to switch up your priority list. This doesn’t mean you are automatically more flexible because you’ve organised and planned your time, but it does mean you are more in control of your time and what you choose to do with it.
If you get to the end of the week and something you wanted to achieve hasn’t been done; one of three things will happen… none of which are the end of the world so please don't worry.
That task will move further up your priority list for the following week and will get done as a 'must-do' task.
It will stay on your list as something you want to do as and when you can.
You will realise it actually isn’t a priority for you anymore and will be removed from your list altogether - BONUS!
What’s your take on this? Do you feel being organised gives you more or less flexibility?
Please comment and let me know, I'd love to hear from you. There is absolutely no right or wrong answer…I’m just really interested in people's thoughts and how being organised impacts on your life.
Until next time lovelies. xoxo
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