The Power of Scheduling
Many people balk at scheduling because they feel it's too constraining. However, I discovered that scheduling can be a tool of mental liberation from scattered thinking that releases the feeling that I should be doing something else. Thus scheduling facilitates me being present in the moment.
One of my favorite pleasures occurs when I discover concepts that are timely and relevant to my life and could be helpful to others.
I recently came across research about a concept call "attention residue." Sophie Leroy, an assistant professor in the UW Bothell School of Business, shares that interruptions throughout the day — like meetings, dings from inboxes and instant messages are disrupting employees' ability to focus thus hurting their performance.
Stopping in the middle of a project leaves the brain stuck circling previous ideas, a phenomenon Leroy calls “attention residue.”
“Attention residue is when thoughts about a task persist and intrude while performing another task,” Leroy said. Those lingering thoughts use up important cognitive processing power that can’t be devoted to the new task.
Individuals impacted by attention residue are essentially “functioning with a reduced cognitive capacity,” Leroy said. That's why schedule blocking may be so effective. When you can group similar activities together, there is less attention residue as you are still working in the same domain. This is yet, another reason to batch similar tasks together.
In addition, adding more details into your calendar can further declutter your mind. For example, scheduling when you will drop clothes to the Goodwill, when you plan help your child with a project, and even adding quiet time with your spouse without interuptions from the kids.
I hang my daily schedule on the fridge so everyone can see what I'm suposed to be doing at a given time. Modeling this behavior will make it easier for my children as their need for greater planning and time management increases. Plus, my mind can rest knowing I've created space in my day or week for certain activities.
You will be amazed at how tweaking your scheduling practice by grouping similar items together and adding more details to your calendar will help declutter your mind and free mental energy to relax and enjoy the moment.
Remember to factor your self-care into your calendar first by including events that rejeuvenate you.
Need support in creating and sutaining a scheduling system that works for you? Then join our free weekly accountability group to help acheive what's important to you. Read "How it works" by scrolling down on the homepage for details.
Cheering you on,