With a heavy news cycle and constant shift in the state of affairs, it's no wonder that many people are feeling out of sorts right now. Work and social life has been completely turned upside for some, which may result in an utter lack in motivation, not to mention an increase in stress and anxiety. Though your options may be more limited these days, it doesn't mean your to-do list is any shorter (and in many cases, it could be longer than usual) but one new suggestion for managing your day-to-day could be a game-changer: Intuitive scheduling. But what is intuitive scheduling and is it the right fit for your lifestyle?
Life coach and co-founder of One & Many Antoinette Beauchamp, who created this method, is breaking it all down. Similar to the concept of intuitive eating, intuitive scheduling is sort of an anti-structural approach to managing your routine, allowing for flexibility and prioritizing joy — á la Marie Kondo. "To put it simply, [intuitive scheduling] is all about creating a calendar that works for you, not against you," Beauchamp explains. "[It] goes hand-in-hand with connecting to yourself to understand what your needs are, personally and professionally."
That said, trying this out will inherently look different for everyone. Maybe you need to allow for more rest or snack breaks, or maybe your solution is scheduling meetings further apart. Beauchamp is the first to admit that this isn't going to be a fit for everyone — some people thrive on structure or don't work jobs that allow for much flexibility — but, there are still small things anyone can learn and adopt, whether you're working from home or the office, whether you're Type A or a bit more relaxed in terms of scheduling.
And right now could be a good time to try something new, as Beauchamp notes that this practice can particularly help those who have been struggling with work stress and overthinking in the current environment. "The method is also really helpful when things feel out of control because it helps one practice rolling with the punches," she explains. "By learning how to lead with your intuition, you teach yourself to be adaptable to every changing circumstance, and how you navigate this current transition could also serve as a symbol of how you manage major changes in other areas of your life. In times of change, the key is to always check in with yourself."
So what might intuitive scheduling look like in your life? Ahead Beauchamp lists some key tips for putting this into practice. Try them out for yourself and see if it improves your personal productivity.
Intuitive Scheduling Tip: Assess What Brings You Joy
"Write a list of everything that brings you joy and makes you feel at ease— this can be something as small as 'drinking a cup of tea outside' or 'talking to my best friend'," Beauchamp says. "Commit to doing at least one thing on this list a day, and use it as a resource whenever you need a mental, physical, or emotional boost."
Intuitive Scheduling Tip: Create (Mindful) Breaks
"Look at your schedule and create incremental breaks, anywhere from five to 30 minutes," the life coach suggests. "When you have that [time] free, check-in with yourself. Track your mood throughout your day. What are you feeling at that moment? What on your joy list do you feel you want to dive into? What does your mind and body need? Maintain these boundaries."
Intuitive Scheduling Tip: Commit To Yourself
"Make a commitment now to writing out these lists, creating more time, and prioritizing your well-being," says Beauchamp. "Find an accountability buddy or coach to work with that can help you, and get really good at turning to your intuition and asking yourself what you need daily. Remember, your wellbeing affects everything and everyone else; It is all a ripple effect!"