This has given me more confidence this year in planning my business, my schedule, my goals and my priorities. I have watched with admiration and envy people who effortlessly manage their schedule and instinctively know how long things will take and what is too much and what is too little.
Then it struck me:- there is a reason why some people are good at this and others not quite as good. It is not always as obvious as you may think. The fact is if you are the type of person that is often doing new things and charting unknown territories, scheduling and estimating how long things will take is always going to be much more difficult and require a whole lot more guess work. Compare this to someone who is most of the time doing familiar tried and tested things.
I without a doubt fall into the former category. Each year I seem to have almost a completely new and different life and a different set of challenges and tasks. That is the way I like it. Maybe you are someone like this too. Without a doubt if you are you will have had people judge you and tell you, ‘you are unorganized’ or ‘always changing’ or ‘never making your mind up’. The truth is that some of us are built for variety. I used to feel sad that I never stuck to new hobbies, but I have finally given myself permission to be someone that loves trying out new things and getting a wide variety of experiences. Some things stick and I become very good at them but I always need variety and that is okay.
Whether you like it that way or not, shaking things up and taking on new challenges and unknowns is a healthy thing. According to neuroscientists doing things differently often, keeps your brain working well and most efficiently. Actually ensuring routine does not dominate your life has been proven to help your brain operate more fully and stop dementia later on. So we are meant to do things differently often. I am not saying all routine is bad, please understand, I’m just suggesting a healthy balance of both routine and parts of your life having no routine and allowing the new, the unknown and the unfamiliar in.
I have friends who regularly bless me with a conversation to help me sort through life and opportunities and decide on priorities and forward schedule. Because I need help does this mean this is my weakness or maybe this is my strength? Successful people plan for the long haul, so I am not suggesting we live a life of total spontaneity with no goals or plans. I am suggesting that we remain open as to how we get there and keeping a healthy balance of variety of new things along the journey.
When I worked in the same job, for many years and repeated many tasks year in year out, I was a master at scheduling, meeting deadlines, always being totally in control. Since starting my own organisations, things have changed. Many tasks that are totally new and for which I have no history with, are constantly presenting themselves.
Have you ever tried to estimate how long a project or a task will take when you have absolutely no grid or history to evaluate that from? Well, guess what, when you are stepping out in faith, jumping out of the boat, moving forward into calculated risks, this is one of the issues you will have to address. Think about it, when was the last time you experienced what may have felt like chaos in your life, and your schedule? Could this be an issue of your own poor time management? Could it be about your need for boundaries or perhaps you are stepping out into the new? Do you need to shake it up a little and add some unknowns into your life? If you are someone that still struggles with your schedule and has been for years, then learning time management, deciding on your priorities and putting in good boundaries is necessary. But if you are someone that is stepping into new things go easy on yourself, it’s hard to know at first how it will all come about.
Goals are meant to help us move forward not cause us stress. I have learnt to become more adaptable in moving the goal posts and not becoming over worked. I have learnt to become more adaptable in changing the goals I was originally heading for if circumstances or my heart teach me my plan was not the best. I have also learnt that sometimes big goals demand chaos along the way as big changes can’t happen without this. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. Yes, you can’t build anything, create something new and wonderful without a whole ton of chaos, learning, re-visiting, reevaluating, or re-setting along the way.
Learn to be okay with chaos when you are starting to pursue your vision but discern the difference between chaos on the way to strategic change and chaos that has no end goal in mind.