Do you ever feel scattered or overwhelmed?

Like you’re constantly jumping from one thing to the next?

From writing emails to supervising staff to networking to trying to just find a moment to think?

If so, you probably don’t need anyone else to tell you that context-switching can be costly, wasting your precious energy, brainpower, and, even, time.

If you’re constantly context-switching or overwhelmed by all the tasks on your plate, I invite you to imagine what it might feel like to integrate a sense of rhythm into your life.

Rhythms are the repeated notes that hold life together.

The tide comes in. The tide goes out. The sun rises. The sun sets. You wake up. You fall asleep.

When you schedule the same activities at the same time on the same days, you reduce the number of decisions you need to make, maximize your energy for more creative and exciting pursuits, become more efficient and effective, and have an easier time changing habits.

Here’s an example of my weekly rhythm—

Mondays are my “Introvert Business Development Days” when I write a couple of blog articles, get caught up on administrative tasks, and attend to any other big writing-related projects. Wednesdays are my “Extrovert Business Development Day,” when I attend a networking group, have breakfast with collaborators, and prepare for my clients in the days to come. I see clients all day on Thursdays and Fridays and sometimes on Tuesdays.

I invite you to consider for a moment how you might create a sense of rhythm in your life.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen to jot down notes as you read the following suggestions for finding rhythm. Some of these may be easier for you to implement than others.

I invite you to read this list through a lens of curiosity, jotting down notes about how each might apply to your life:

  • Cluster Like-Activities. Schedule all client sessions back to back or answer all emails at the same time, for example.
  • Schedule meetings on as few days per week as possible and do your best to schedule them back-to-back.
  • Set “open office hours” or times when your staff or clients are welcome to come to you with their concerns and ideas. Set other times when they know not to interrupt you. Create explicit agreements about which situations merit an interruption.
  • Schedule “Admin Time” at regular intervals during your week. These are uninterrupted times when you don’t have meetings and can work on writing-related or administrative tasks. I encourage you to schedule at least one “Admin Day” during the week when you don’t plan any meetings.
  • Commit to a morning or evening routine. Choose just one new practice that you’d like to integrate into your life such as exercising, journaling, or meditation, and schedule one time when you’ll practice regularly. Some people find it easiest to protect a new practice when they do it first thing in the morning, and others, especially parents of young children, find that it is easier to practice at night.
  • Block Out Email Time. If you answer email, texts and phone calls throughout your day, your day may soon be over in a blur without you ever attending to your goals. To safeguard focused time while still being responsive, I encourage you to schedule one or two times each day for writing and responding to emails.
  • Use Only One Calendar. Often, my new clients tell me that they have one calendar for home and one for work and maybe another somewhere else. They thought that having the multiple calendars would help them remember important dates, but it’s often the opposite. One of the first things I ask them to do is to put all their commitments into just one calendar, and they quickly feel the difference. I recommend using Google Calendars because you can sync it across various devices and have it with you in multiple places.

I invite you to rearrange your schedule to integrate rhythm as much as possible now.

Keep in mind that because you probably have appointments scheduled in the next couple of weeks, it’ll easier to start implementing rhythm a couple of weeks from now. That’s okay. As you learn what works for you, keep molding your schedule to make it more and more what you want it to be.

I’d love to hear from you!

What’s one step you’ll take to integrate a sense of rhythm into your life?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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