I am learning a lot about myself as I carry out the various tasks related to preparing for “retirement.” Oh, I know, there are many stages to go through on the road and I’ve got plenty more stops along the way.

But it’s an interesting journey…

I’ve always been fairly organized – or at least I like to think of myself that way – I make lists of all the things I want to do, whether I’m going on vacation or to the grocery store.

But a couple of months ago, I worked with a coach for awhile…and the first thing I was required to do was draw up a schedule of my days for a week. So I did…meticulously accounting for every 30-minute period from the time I got up at 04h30 to the time I went to bed at 21h00. My days were full!

This worked fairly well…for the first couple of days! Then I found that I wasn’t keeping on track with the schedule anymore…or if I did follow the schedule, I wasn’t completing all the tasks.

I did a new schedule, incorporating the knowledge I’d gained from trying to work the schedule as I’d planned it. For the next week, I put some buffer into each time slot, because I learned that there’s no way to judge in advance how long most activities will end up lasting. You have to actually begin doing them to figure that out.

That worked better, but still wasn’t ideal. I felt pressured to do certain tasks when I wanted to work on something else. It left me unsettled and feeling sort of unaccomplished, like I didn’t get much done during the week, even though I could see firsthand that I had gotten a lot done.

Long story short (at least about this scheduling activity) after the four-week trial, the hourly scheduling went by the wayside. I pull it out once in awhile and try to account for my time ahead of time again, but it just doesn’t work. I’m obviously not meant to be doing my work based on a timesheet…at least not one that predetermines what time I’m going to spend on each task.

The coach I’m working with now also has us identifying the tasks we intend to complete through the week. However, this time it’s just a list of activities we’ll do. As we do them, we mark them off. Lo and behold! I’m getting a lot more accomplished with this framework. I can work the amount of time I want on each task, when I want. Everything is getting done…and even some extras!

So the bottom line here seems to be that I need some structure – I love me some lists! 😂 But I DON’T need to be told how to carry out every minute of my day. The rebel in me takes over when that happens and I end up less organized and less productive…and overall feeling pretty bad about myself for no reason.

Making lists is good – it helps to lay out what needs to be done. But then I need a bit of chaos…I have to know inside that I can do WHAT I want WHEN I want…so that’s my organized disorder!

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