Photo: Catalin Pop

What’s wrong with the way I am working now?

Why is doing my best not good enough?

Well….. it’s like this.

Very often we have an unconscious desire that drives our willingness to schedule ourselves. We can over-schedule and then feel very rushed and important but always have things that we have to drop at the last minute like dinners with friends or things that “don’t take priority”. Clearly that isn’t good enough for most of us. Or we under-schedule ourselves and are left feeling disconnected and unfulfilled. (Not good enough either right?) Neither of these states is ideal. In fact, both states go against what Positive Psychology researcher Martin Seligman, defines as the necessary items for humans to flourish.

The five pillars of flourishing are:

PERMA: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment

I like to think of this as my own personal “Terra Perma”… LOL

These elements, which we choose for their own sake, are the rock-bottom fundamentals to human well-being. What is the good life? It is pleasant, engaged, meaningful, achieving, and connected.

What’s that again…?

So back to how this relates to scheduling. When you think about all the things you would like to achieve in a certain week or over the next month, what happens? What do you notice in your body? Does your heart-rate increase, what do you notice about your breathing? Do you feel excited, anxious, a bit of both or another emotion altogether?  If you wrote out your ideal plan for how to accomplish whatever it is on your list, would you be able to fit it all inside of the day/week or month? What would you have to let go of or give up to make it all fit? This is where the Ideal, or perfectionism in us meet the hard reality of the 24-hr day.


Have your own A-HA! moment right now!

The answer is actually simpler than we often make it out to be, and it’s called “good enough”. When we start from a place of understanding the Ideal we are trying to make fit, and the reality which will, under every circumstance force us to accept good enough, we actually can accomplish more, feel less stressed and happier while working towards our accomplishment.

How do we do this? Well it’s a matter of seeing what we are currently doing to ourselves in terms of trying to do, as one friend puts it, “#AllTheThings”, and then implementing a little reality-check into our brains.

Good enough is what will get you to the finish line every time!

How To Schedule Anything in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Choose a specific goal. Is it creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself? Or finishing that novel you started oh-so-long-ago? Maybe it’s figuring out how to deal with all the family responsibilities you’ve taken on each week, or how to get that project at work done, you know, the one that’s been dragging on for eternity? Whatever it is, make a choice right now and write that out as your goal.Don’t worry- you can add in other goals as you go- we just need something to begin with.
  2. List everything you’d ideally want to do or have done in order to accomplish your goal. Don’t leave anything out!
  3. Transfer your list to a blank calendar worksheet. Fill in your week with everything you would like to accomplish in the week.
  4. Jot down how many hours you’d ideally give each task. Don’t worry about how many hours are actually in a day, just write how much time you’d ideally like to allot to each task.
  5. Add up the hours for each day. Likely you arrived at something more than 16 which means you are already willing to forego sleep.
  6. Copy your list onto a second worksheet and this time consider what amount of time would feel “good enough” to you for each task. “Good enough” is somewhere between perfect and slacking off. It is the amount of effort and time you feel would get the job done to 80% rather than aiming for 100%.
  7. Add up your new totals. Notice, is there also now time for other things in your day like eating, sleeping, exercising and relaxing? If so, add a few of those back in being careful not to totally pack your day from start to finish.
  8. Close your eyes and imagine for a moment how you would feel if you were working through your day in this way. What would you feel like as you got into bed that day?
  9. Check in with your body in the present moment. What do you notice in your breathing? Your heart-rate? Your emotions. Do you notice any difference from when you checked-in earlier?
  10. Follow the schedule you created on your “GOOD ENOUGH” calendar, and watch yourself move closer to each of you goals.

Wrapping Up Good Enough

By creating a schedule that actually allows you down-time, time to relax, regroup and re-energize and that doesn’t hold you to an impossible to meet standard, you move closer to your achievement faster and with more energy and excitement than if you are constantly pushing up against an impossible ideal.