Apple Jack Exercise: My Schedule Scrub!

In Coaching is Magic, Apple Jack represents Honesty, Practicality and Simplicity.

Apple Jack is probably the pony that I most-embody outwardly in my every day. Many of the materials that were linked in this section were useful and spoke to my constant life-editing and my natural, efficiency-driven mode of operation. I really appreciated the Byron Katie resource links in order to increase empathy of others and honesty towards conflict resolution. Continuous maintenance or tidying of personal thoughts, schedule and ways of outwardly relating are all contributors to a well-run life. A little bit of structure and preparation can really go a long way, especially in the sense of prevention. In my last module’s blog post re: Rainbow Dash, I wrote about efficiency and action. However, even on my best days, there are ways that I don’t use my time to its greatest potential On that note, and in the spirit of Apple Jack, I thought I’d share the ways that I’m going to Schedule Scrub!

 

Here is a list of my weak points (and why they’re still around):

Facebook Newsfeed

Why is it still around?

I use my Facebook in a different way than most, in that I try to “friend” people who post about philosophical, science, tech and research-related articles. These are not only highly interesting, but they also keep me in-the-know on the latest in the science community and add a lot of value as far as “things to chew on” when considering say ethical uses of artificial intelligence or cancer research breakthroughs. On Facebook, I’ve optimized my stream as one steady, knowledgeable stream of debate and news reporting. However, it is where productivity goes to die… every day.

How do I shift my thinking?

Compared to searching up all of the research sites myself, it is a time saver. However, this line of thinking is a total trap, especially if the task I’m executing begins and ends with reading the article and not using it for my own personal writing. Valuing the “time saving” aspect of my newsfeed is kind of like focusing on how much I saved when I go on a shopping spree. Yes, I saved over 70% off of retail, but I still spent $200.00 from your bank account and now have $200.00 less than I did before. I need to be focusing on the amount of time I’m spending, not “saving”.

What do I change about it?

Restrict Facebook to nighttime reading or off-peak productivity hours, after I’ve put in work on my own projects. Even if off-hours, I’d benefit from logging 1-2 hours daily catching up on the biggest articles of the day. Also: No engaging in online debates. It not only takes up a lot of time, but mental and emotional space as well.

 

Pinterest Newsfeed

Why is it still around?

Pinterest used to be my big-black-hole of time waste. Although I’ve gotten this under control recently, or rather, shifted my “time dump” to Facebook, Pinterest is still a big thief of spare time.It adds value in that it spurs on my creativity. It inspires me to create projects or cook meals that I hadn’t planned on. It brings positive value in that it is a social media site where I can express my creativity visually and keep inspiration tucked into a folder for later.

How do I shift my thinking?

Prioritize time over personal creativity right now. Nothing on this site is immediate or necessary to my quality of life right now. I can always make that peach mango salsa in our new apartment. Its not going away.

What do I change about it?

As its not adding any relevant value to my projects right now, take a hiatus.

 

Checking Email

Why is it still around?

How does this waste time? you may ask. I get up every morning knowing the tasks that I need to execute or what all needs to be done with my day. It is a daily habit of mine to sit down to check my messages while I drink my morning coffee to address any emergent things coming through my email.

How do I shift my thinking?

This is important, you may say. It is in some respects, and so it has stuck around. This is not so much an issue of checking my email, but when and how often. Email eats up the first 2 hours of my day and often disrupts my workflow and derails my important items from being prioritized at the top. This is just too much wasted energy happening right off the bat during my peak productivity hours.

What do I change about it?

I will set a limit to check my email twice per day during off-peak productivity hours, which, for me, means midday and afternoon. Often, I make the immediate, smaller tasked items, priority, without even realizing it, which interrupts and derails my work flow. And the sense of “too many tasks”, plus processing whether or not I should complete them right now, can really take up a lot of mental bandwidth. All of this reading and deciding detracts from the energy I need to take on bigger deadlines. And for the love of all things deadline-oriented, I will avoid my “promotions” tab, which brings me nothing but offers, coupons and special deals.

 

You can probably tell that there is a pattern emerging here and even, in your own schedule when doing the Schedule Scrub exercise. It isn’t that we keep deliberately terrible things around to waste time. I believe that we get rid of those obviously wasteful elements pretty quickly. The items that waste our time the most are the habits we keep around because they *do* provide value, but we aren’t prioritizing correctly for our current needs. Needs are constantly in a state of flux, changing from day to day and are highly effected by circumstance and deadlines. To keep our also-ever-fluctuating amount of time in optimal or high margins, we need to constantly reassess our needs’ demands of time and how the current elements in our life contribute or detract.

 

How are you “scrubbing” your schedule? Are there ways that you could afford yourself more time to work on that project you keep talking about or side venture you’ve always wanted to create? I love hearing new tips on how to manage my time!

 

If you’re interested in joining in on the Udemy course, “Coaching is Magic”, it is free and can be found here. Stay tuned for my thoughts on next week’s module: Fluttershy!

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