Design your life

Do you schedule personal development time into your everyday life?

When you intentionally make time for yourself, you are making time to design the life that you want. I’ve been on my journey of personal development for 2 years now, whereof the last 12 months were more focused, hence more productive and overall got me first results. Bam!

I’m so grateful to have been accompanied and supported on this journey by my lovely connection coach, healer and spiritual catalyst Ollie Trew, based in London. It was only when I started my coaching sessions with him, that I realised that I can do anything I want, that I must allow myself to be myself and create the life I really want to live.

Once I’ve embraced the change this ‘work’ will bring with it, my life began to improve. Slowly, but surely. I got rid of habits I didn’t need anymore and instead established a growth habit. My thoughts changed to the positive, my approach to challenging situations improved, my perspective shifted. I understood that I can choose every single day who I want to be and what life I want to live.

You can choose every day who you want to be and what life you want to live.

Scheduling time for my personal development meant that I was finally focusing on myself again. I started practicing self-love. Only when I was able to spend time with myself, I got to know myself and started walking the way of becoming the best version of  myself.

Make your personal time as important as everything else (if not more), because it will lead you to a natural balance from the inside. Once you really know your worth and your time’s worth, you will surely think about who to spend time with and what activities to say yes to, because you will instantly review it against your vision, if the activity is serving you or not. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should become unsocial and not go out anymore or spend time with your friends, but you might want to check upon the intensity, the frequency and its impact on your vision.

If you truly have a vision that you are working towards based on your goals and milestones, then it will be inevitable to review your personal time vs. the time spent elsewhere. Hence, as part of your life design, you might want to look at your time design.

I want to be honest though. This is not always easy. You might feel bad about rejecting certain people or activities for the time-being, you might feel ‘alone’, since you will be spending quite a bit of time on your own, and maybe the words ‘egoism’, ‘preferences’ and ‘negligence’ might fall. Some days it will throw you off, some days it won’t. Just accept it as part of your personal growth, as a sign of self-love.

Accept the consequences of your personal growth as a sign of self-love.

Time design

I’m still experimenting with that. Generally, on Sunday evenings I write a schedule for the week, just like back in school. What are my tasks, projects and goals to get accomplished this week. Are there any fixed dates, for example for my blog, where I publish a new blog post every Friday morning. Or my yoga classes, that I hold Mondays and Wednesdays etc.

I used to block hours, e.g. 9am-12pm for my blog, 12-14pm break, 14-16pm yoga, 16-18pm  reading, 18-20pm teaching a yoga class, 20-21pm social media promotion, etc. I have days where this works perfectly, but also where it doesn’t. Reasons vary: I’m not in the right mood for reading or I don’t feel creative enough to write my next blog post. So apart from the fixed dates, that approach doesn’t always work for me. Now, I’m trying a more flexible approach; I’m still scheduling the fixed dates in my diary, as well as setting out my weekly goals, e.g. ‘Pre-write 5 blog posts this week’, ‘Submit 1 article to John Strelecky & Friends‘, or ‘Plan up the yoga classes for April’. But I’m allowing myself the space and flexibility to complete these tasks whenever I feel like it, as long as I get them done. For me this leads to a higher level of satisfaction, whereas a very strict schedule seems to cause procrastination at times, especially when I’m not in the right mood for a specific task. On the other hand, I’m wondering if this enables me to perform at my full potential or if I’m operating only at half of my potential.

One last note: WhatsApp. Whilst I love this app, as it enables me to be in touch with my friends who are spread across the world, it’s also a very time-consuming activity, so use it wisely. I used to have my phone on silent anyways, but whenever I walked past my phone, I would check my incoming messages, emails, Instagram, etc. One thing led to another and suddenly I’ve lost 30 minutes of my valuable time. So, now, I have switched off my WhatsApp notifications fully, and if somebody needs me urgently, they simply have to to call. Done.

Owl or lark?

Also, I’m exploring whether I’m more of an owl or a lark when it comes to my productivity & creativity phase as well as sleeping patterns. I like the idea of getting up at 6am every day and having loads of things done by mid-day already. The reality however is that I might go to bed later one night, hence I cannot get out of bed the next day, which leads to frustration and procrastination. Plus sometimes, I get writing late after a yoga class, simply because I’m in the right mood or something evoked a thought that I’d like to capture… And then it’s rather hindering to have a very fixed time schedule.

Experiment, experiment, experiment 

If you are currently thinking about time design, then experimenting would be my best advice to you. Ask yourself, when in the day you are most productive or creative, whether you are an owl or a lark, if you prefer the night or the morning hours to get things done. No matter what type you are, avoid procrastination by all means and design your time purposefully to design the life you want.

Make your personal growth a must

Amongst all experiments though, one thing always – each and every day – finds a place in my schedule and that is time for myself and my personal growth. This can be reading, listening to a podcast or audio book, taking a relaxing bath, meditating, practicing yoga. The list is long, but do make it a must.

Why?

To constantly grow and never stand still.

Start designing your life now, so that you can jump for joy!

Yours, Nina

PS: I’d be very curious to hear your approach to time and life design, so please leave your comments. Thank you!

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