This month I’m sharing a new blog series From Squished to Spacious — How to Create a Schedule You Love. Last week I talked about putting fun things on your calendar. (If you only have work or official stuff and dentist appointments in there, no wonder it feels uninspiring.) Today I want to talk about Tip Number Two: Schedule open-ended time for rest, recovery and renewal aka “White Space” around demanding activities. This is the most important thing I do to help me feel responsive rather than reactive to my schedule. I like to have a calendar check-in on Sunday night. ** Monday morning is THE WORST time to map out your week because you already feel behind. ** So Sunday night with cozy socks and a glass of something warm or wine. Or mulled wine (hey it’s the season!) — open up your calendar and look at what is in store. Hopefully you already have at least a couple of fun things in there. Next check the overall pacing. If you have some demanding activities like a big presentation at work or leading a volunteer project with many moving parts — can you schedule in some buffers? Sure you can skip this step. But if we skip it too often we get depleted and our body ends up sick and forcing the pause anyway. It feels so much better to anticipate the need for rest or quiet and create white space for it. For example, yesterday I hosted a two hour group coaching call and recorded a whole new set of mini-modules or training videos on meditation for my Flourish Formula coaching program. While I LOVE coaching and teaching it also requires a lot of energy (especially because I am an introvert.) So this morning after taking the kids to school I took it slow — first enjoying a long yoga video and then taking my time with breakfast prep, including warming some berries in the oven to mix with my breakfast bowl. When I did open up the laptop I started with the easiest and lightest work, sitting on my couch and savoring my yerba mate tea. Years ago I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the white space. I would have screwed my tush to the chair at 8AM and already felt behind — slogging through tasks in a fog (and thus not that effectively). Or worse I would have taken the time off but felt guilty about it. So go extra gentle here. You likely have years of habitspushing you forward faster. Scheduling and taking intentional white space may feel a bit uncomfortable at first. But it is a key ingredient to creating a schedule that fits you and feels really good to be in. Also it gives you a chance to make sure you are really attending to your most important priorities. More on that next week! For now add the white space and let me know how it goes… Warmly, Courtney PS If you would like a serious dose of white space, rest and renewal I want to invite you to Flourish Live in Costa Rica in January — a boutique retreat for members of my Flourish Formula Coaching Program. Book a call via the link above to chat more or reply to this email with any questions. I am so excited to travel to this special venue and would love for you to join.  xo

Courtney Pinkerton is a certified holistic life coach and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever’s Guide to Slowing Down & Accomplishing More. Courtney is a student and a teacher of the Enneagram who has helped hundreds of busy women (and a few inspiring men) slow down and accomplish and enjoy more in their life. She holds dual master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the creator of the flourish coaching methodology and the Flourish Formula for Families. After selling their house and all their belongings and spending a year adventuring in Nicaragua and being tutored by their neighbors in the art of slowing down and living more, Courtney and her husband Richard Amory and their three children are making a new home in Asheville, North Carolina.

 

 

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